Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Silent Tea Party

So I’m on my riding mower taking care of biz on part of my rural 2 ½ acres when a pickup truck pulls in the driveway. An old man gets out. I drive the mower over to him, shut down the engine and we begin to talk.

“Tell your wife I went and voted in the school board election,” he says. "She was right, there was nobody there, no line. I got in real easy.” The man is our neighbor down the road. The Cutest Community Organizer to whom I am married has been out talking to the neighbors, getting them to vote, encouraging them to support good candidates. Cutest Community Organizer has designated herself as our local precinct captain. That’s remarkable, since our county Republican Party does not have precinct captains, but that doesn’t stop her. The man said he had followed her advice: “Tell her I called the courthouse about an absentee ballot.” (his health is not very good). “They said they’d mail me one, so I imagine I’ll get that in a few days.”

Enjoying a beautiful Ozark morning, the man and I talked politics. Despite the health problems that have caused him difficulty in going to vote, he is knowledgeable about political personalities and what’s going on. Finally, having solved all the world’s problems, we wound up our conversation. Said the man: “I’m a Tea Partier. I’ve never been to one of their meetings, but I’m a Tea Partier.”

A Tea Partier. But he’s never been to a meeting or been to a protest. A silent Tea Partier. How many others like him?

A few days later, some of our local Tea Party people met at a local steak house with a coalition of other Tea Partiers from around the state. After the meeting, several of us hung out in the meeting room, enjoying dessert when a young man came in and began bussing the tables. I don’t remember who started it, but we got into a conversation about politics. He demonstrated keen knowledge of what is going on. He talked of issues, voiced knowledgeable criticisms, and said he liked the Tea Party.

A potential Tea Partier? But he’s never been to a meeting or been to a protest. A silent Tea Partier? How many others like him?

Today, Cutest Community Organizer went through the drive-through of a local fast food place. As the teenage boy serving at the window gave her change and a receipt, he slipped her a piece of paper. Taped to the paper was a printed question: What is your opinion of the Obama healthcare bill? Cutest Community Organizer pointed thumbs down and drove off.

Don’t know if this young man is associated with the Tea Party. Or if he’s ever been to a meeting or a protest. Is he a silent Tea Partier? How many others like him?

The Silent Tea Party.

It speaks November 2…

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