The Conversation

Flashback: Tea Party Leader Said Movement 'Won't Be Around After 2014'

In response to The Tea Party plays the game of thrones:

When I talk about leadership problems in the Tea Party, I'm not just referring to political personalities, and I'm not suggesting the movement needs a single figure to guide it. I'm talking about a refusal to plan for the future, which almost always means doing less in the present. While the Obama campaign was ramping up, preparing to become a community organizing movement, some Tea Party leaders were planning to close down.

In August 2012, Breitbart News posted an interview with a Tea Party leader that is worth quoting:

Q:  Wow. Wait a minute. Did I understand you correctly? Did you say the Tea Party probably won’t be around after 2014?

Russo: The reality is Americans are involved in a lot of things.  Involved with their kids, their communities, charities and so forth…but politics everyday is not an American thing. What happens is people get fed up and frustrated and roll up their sleeves to change things and then drift away. Then when it gets bad again they get back in…So I don’t see the Tea Party being a permanent fixture. I mean I wish it would be but being a realist once we get our country back I think people will probably drift further away.

That prediction may not be inaccurate--in the absence of Tea Party leaders taking action to keep the movement going, to serve as a constant check on the excesses of power, both Republican and Democrat.

The enemies of freedom are relentless. Those who defend it must, as Thomas Jefferson once warned, be vigilant--always. And if you're not planning to win in the end, you probably won't win in the beginning, either.


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