by Greg Allen
Since 2009, I've been writing this column; since the dawn of the Obama "Fundamentally Transforming America" era.
At the pry of a local newspaper editor my opinion pieces began to surface in her publication back then and not long after the column went national - for that I'm blessed and thankful for my readers across the country.
Recently a reader in New York state emailed to say: "A big amen to your content!"
The Managing Editor of a large newspaper in Arizona recently picked up the column and asked me to view the hundreds of comments the article drew on their online addition. His quote was: "Intrigue sure sells papers." Although I don't normally read comments like that I did take note of their reading community and the things they said like: "Who's this Greg Allen?" "Is he a Republican?" "Surely he's no Democrat." "He's probably one of those tea party nut jobs!" Soon many began to research our website and make slanderous statements, some vulgar, about my character and the nonprofit we run.
I'm not ashamed of what I believe and will never shy away from the controversial for political correctness' sake.
I've been asked numerous times if I'm a Republican, Democrat, an Independent, a Libertarian, a Tea Partier, or any given number of things, and my response always is "I'm an American."
Although I'm not a member of the tea party I do admire their drive. It's not a political party - it's a spirit rising up in citizens across the land. Theteaparty.net is a national organization claiming to have over 3 million members dedicated to organizing a grassroots effort with over a thousand new members joining each day - I'm intrigued by that.
If the tea party movement's a fluke why have both political parties tipped their hand by defaming them and calling them a threat? It's because they fear what their grassroots efforts can accomplish.
Although the Virginia gubernatorial Republican tea party candidate had little support from the GOP establishment in DC and was outspent 10 to 1 by a high-ranking Democrat insider and Clinton friend he still made the race close. Many feel it was a victory of sorts for the tea party and a sign of things to come in 2014.
I recently saw a sign that read "Support Defeattheincumbents.org." The sign no doubt represents the mood of America's citizens.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a former campaign manager of a tea party candidate who ran for congress in 2012.
I believe I surprised him a bit by meeting at McDonald's. I didn't have my Jimmy Olsen personna in tow. I wasn't wearing a brimmed hat with a pencil hanging on it just waiting to get that big scoop for the Daily Planet. I didn't scribble every other word he said on a notepad, although I did have a pen and pad in my pocket that I never retrieved.
Instead, 90% of the time I listened while he spoke. I made the claim we all need to be better listeners and he agreed.
Instead of quoting him, or revealing his identity, I approached the interview from a philosophical standpoint because I'm intrigued by the tea party movement.
I won't reveal his name or the candidate he represented because he himself is running for public office and he made the claim if he wins he will have to install a security system on his home to protect his family.
The gentleman said the candidate he worked for had numerous death threats on his life. They took those threats seriously and got the police involved.
The bad publicity was relentless from a biased press, he claimed. The Candidate's words were ultimately twisted and used against him nationally to secure defeat.
I told the campaign manager "When you fall down you get up and dust yourself off and try once more. That their effort wasn't in vain; it's only the beginning!"
I truly believe the tea party isn't going away and many politicians riding that gravy train in DC know it and that's why they fear the movement so much.
Many incumbents will lose their seats in the coming months because more and more tea party candidates will begin infiltrating the Republican Party to do battle with the Democrats. Through the actions of "The People" that uprising has occurred.
And with those thoughts I ended the interview with that former campaign manager who poured two years of his soul into a work that came up short, yet in the end he stood tall for what he believes. And he said: "I hope you're right."
Greg Allen's column, Thinkin' Out Loud, is published bi-monthly. He's an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor. He can be reached at 765-676-5014 or www.builderofthespirit.org.