Hi, please

God Help Me – I’ve Joined the Tea Party!!!

Tea Party Time!

I wanted to try something I had NO IDEA about. I’ve been hearing about this political movement on the news, and I don’t follow much of what is happening politically in the United States, and I felt that I should dive into a foreign topic to challenge myself. Hopefully I won’t be taken away by the current…!!

So what are these TEA PARTY people as I call them! If I have to learn about them, you might as well too! So here is a quick summary on their founding values that you can fight on their site – I have shortened them a bit (they are pretty patriotic)

Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of their own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect.

Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land.

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we.

From what I’ve learned so far, the Tea Party, wants to revert back to the core values in the American Constitution. One of the main issues the Tea Party has been avidly against is the bailout of banks by the US government and the intertwining of governments and markets.

So where am I starting my travel?

1. I logged into my twitter – and searched #teaparty – they are currently in my saved searches so I can keep myself updated on news, etc.

I am also following TPPatriots on twitter.

2. I sign up at the Tea Party official site. Once you sign up – they ask you if you have ever been to a tea party event – I stated no. Then they proceed to ask if you what role you would like to take.

3. Next to each job title – there is an amount of hours. I’ve decided to be a “Family and Friend’s Coordinator”

Friends and Family Coordinator
Description Will contact my friends and family. Will share our thoughts and ideas and encourage them to participate.
- Anticipated Work Level: Easy
- Estimated Weekly Hours: 2-5

Here is a video of the actual sign up process I had to go through: ** the video may still be processing through youtube if it states it is unavailable – it will be up soon enough**

YouTube Preview Image

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  1. Alexandra 18:09, Feb 21st, 10

    Woah. This is seriously brave. I just hope you don’t get converted while you’re working on your travelogue!! I will admit that I don’t know much about the movement and I am hoping to learn from your travelogue. Maybe we will be surprised by what you find…

  2. ElzbthMllr 18:49, Feb 21st, 10

    This is so interesting! I’d be curious to know more about the history of this, where it started and why etc. Is there leadership? Why do they get so much media attention? Even if I disagree with it politically I’d be very interested to learn its strategies and where it is successful and where it is unsuccessful.

    Good idea about following on Twitter. I don’t have the link but there is a site out there I believe it’s called Twitter Weather and it’s run out of MIT (I think) which allows you to input search terms or hashtags and it will read the “weather” of the term (eg is it positive, negative etc). I don’t know how they do it, some algorithm I’m sure, so it might be interested to know not only how often people are tweeting about it, but whether its pro tea party, anti tea party etc.

    Are you actually going to try to get family/friends to participate? Like Alexandra said you are very brave. Good luck :)

  3. Leslie 16:18, Feb 22nd, 10

    Cool topic! This is the site Elizabeth was talking about: http://twitterweather.media.mit.edu/. TPPatriots was one of the ‘recent weather reports’ listed when I first entered the page!

    I don’t know much on this topic either, so I’d love to hear of some more background info, as well. They raised a lot of money for Ron Paul in 2008, right?

    The sign-up process sounds pretty intense. I can’t believe they have “roles” created, explained, and ready for you to choose from. Sounds a little cult-ish to me!

    Also thought the name was pretty telling, considering the history behind it. The Boston Tea Party’s purpose being to stand up for colonists’ rights against ruling government on a distant land…a push towards the eventual Revolutionary War. But here, the Tea Party Patriots are promoting the need to challenge our own government on our very own land! How big of a change are they looking to create??

  4. HoniehLayla 20:52, Feb 22nd, 10

    E- I know, I am a bit nervous, but I am VERY curious to see what their motivation and ideas are all about. They just had their 1 year anniversary. It’s only been a few months that they have popped up on the media scene. I like the idea they are simple and grassroots with a lil techy on the side.

    When I signed up I was very impressed with the organization and “FB” style of updating statuses and incorporating other social RSS feeds as well.

    I plan to give a full history and update on my progress.

    As for my family and friends – Why not – They may as well suffer if I have to. JK

    But honestly, I am very intrigued to find out if they are being reported correctly, and if possible what they are fighting for is JUST.

  5. nadine 10:51, Feb 23rd, 10

    Unfortunately I can’t watch the youtube video. The following message appears: “This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender’s friends request.” Do you first have to become “friends” of the Tea Party? Why this secrecy?

    Here a list of blogs and sites about American politics that could be helpful:
    Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com
    Salon http://www.salon.com
    Talking Points Memo http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com
    Politico http://www.politico.com
    Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com
    Drudge Report http://www.drudgereport.com
    Crooks and Liars http://crooksandliars.com/
    Media Matters http://mediamatters.org/
    Gateway Pundit http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/

    Good luck!!!

  6. DanJee 15:50, Feb 23rd, 10

    Tea Party is definitely an interesting topic. I am personally, however, concerned how this will related back to new media. Would you be looking into how Tea Party members organize and mobilize through new media? I think Tea Party movement by itself is very much a political movement, but if you look through the new media lens and how it has become publicized or evolved through new media, it could relate back to the class.

  7. mushon 09:34, Feb 28th, 10

    I would argue the Founding Fathers are not the only ones they are taking a historical lesson from here. The Obama campaign has defined a new standard for online organizing. This “cultish culture” is something the left has developed and now the right is learning from. I agree with Dan that the context relevant to our class here is more the online organizing and mobilization aspect than the political questions about just causes. This should be researched just the same way as you would research the Obama campaign or the “Green Revolution”. I would also like to see some agenda to how you’ll be researching this. Any party planned soon?