May 1, 2010

Arcadia Hosts Tea Party Patriots Panel

Arcadia University held a Tea Party Patriots Panel on Thursday night.  National Coordinators for TPP, Jenny Beth Martin and Diana Reimer, joined Nate Wingham - Grassroots Activist, Jamal Greene - Journalist, Mike Gaske - Fundraising Director, David Webb - Editor Tea Party 365 and talk show host to discuss a variety of issues ranging from what unifies the TPP to their position on endorsements.

The event was well attended with well over 100 in the small theater.  A dozen or so students, most whom were there to challenge the organization's activities, joined the diverse audience of activists and local coordinators in a 2 hour question and answer session designed to inform the crowd about the movement.

Most of those in attendance were there to find out what inspired the grassroots effort, what they can do to help and how the movement plans to keep the pressure on Washington.

Some of the questions from the students seemed pointed to rehashing the Bush years.  They questioned the constitutionality of the Iraq war, wiretapping, and even defense spending.  While the panel appreciated and answered the questions, it was clear to most the students weren't interested in learning about the organization, but rather to fight old battles with the guests to the campus. 

To the students credit, they stuck around and engaged several people with political debate after the event was over.  While they have clearly bought the left's argument on several issues, they weren't obnoxious or completely dismissive - just uniformed.  Not unusual for young skulls full of mush.

The event wasn't aimed to be a rally to rail against a specific issue, it was meant to inform.  Hopefully the students in attendance saw a different side to the movement; unlike the portrayals by the main stream media of an angry, racist group.

The highlight of the evening was a re-reading of "Why I am a conservative" by Jamal Greene.  Greene's initial speech was a hit at the Tax Day Tea Party on April 15th - see the YouTube clip below - but there's nothing like hearing it in person. 

It made this Tea-Bagger proud!

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