I’ve been meaning to post a report, but have been busy trying to meet other deadlines than those I have set for myself. The most obvious result has been a lack of regular and timely blog posts. For instance, the image above I snapped sans flash as I approached a public venue for a political meeting on the evening of 1 March. I’d intended to write briefly about the proceedings and to that end kept the event’s printed agenda which I marked up with notes and doodles. My habit of scribbling in the margins and other white spaces of documents during discussions serves to focus my mind during the event and to categorize memory for later retrieval.
While I don’t propose to report on the sequence of events or statements made during what was the second local Tea Party meeting I have attended this year, I was pleased and not surprised at all by the fact that I observed none of the stereotypical behaviors ascribed to these loose coalitions of citizens who wish to protest overreaching government programs on every level and to return the United States of America to constructionist constitutional rule of law. I observed no racist speech, no vilification of elected officials or other people, no incitements to violence nor to stop paying taxes, no tin-foil beanies worn or carried by those in attendance.
What I observed that irked me were calls for greater centralization and unification between the various groups active in the local three or four county region. Any such centralization will inevitably lead to an embryonic bureaucracy and move to institutionalize whatever it is the combined group thinks it is doing.
The thing that most favorably impressed me was the stated desire by several to ensure that the group does not exclude conservative Democrats from its ranks, and statements indicating as much distrust of business-as-usual Republican Party operatives as of similar Democrat Party functionaries. Furthermore, the religious overtones of the first meeting I attended were largely absent from this second meeting.