Tea Party movement making presence felt at polls
Student voters understand what the traditional Democrat and Republican parties stand for, but many are unaware of the impact that the Tea Party Movement is having on this year’s election.
Tea Party members’ primary objective is to motivate the public to become aware of the nation’s issues by promoting research and debate.
“Your responsibility as an American is to do research on the candidates and then vote,” Tea Party member Alice Linahan said.
Linahan said that students should educate themselves about the candidates and issues and then they can participate in open debate with friends and professors through social media sites.
“When you post an article (on Facebook), that can create a debate through the comments section,” Linahan said. “That is a way of bringing other people to the table and educating them so that they can find out for themselves what they believe.”
Linahan said that Tea Party members are not trying to create a new political party.
“The Tea Party’s main goals are about fiscal responsibility, limited government, personal responsibility, the rule of law and national sovereignty,” Linahan said.
She said they focus on freedom and the rights that the Constitution gave us, which allows for all issues — ranging from health care reform to social issues such as gay rights — to be debated.
“If you don’t have a head-person or a Tea Party leader, they can’t get taken out,” Linahan said. “We moved from having rallies to doing project-oriented actions to affect change.”
One project that occurred earlier this year led to members speaking with their congressmen about health care bill issues.
The movement has motivated other groups like Liberty Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families, to take action.
“We’ll partner up with groups like the Tea Party and help them by telling them what their rights are,” Director of Legislative Affairs at Liberty Institute and UH law alumni Jonathan Saenz said. “All the work we do is free of charge.”
Voters can research local and state candidates for this year’s election through a Liberty Institute website at www.freevotersguide.com.
“The Tea Party is a reflection of the greatest principles of our country and how we started,” Saenz said. “You’re seeing so many people across the country feel like they’re connected, taking hold of their rights and exercising them. It’s a beautiful day in America when more people are doing that.”