Bullhorn: Tea Party Leader on What's Broken in Politics

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

To help us launch It’s A Free Country, we reached out to politicians, academics, cultural thinkers, and activists to help us define our mission. The question we asked is simple: “What’s Broken in Politics, and How Do We Fix It?” This is David Webb’s answer.

I began losing faith in the institution of government in the late 1990's.

I had high hopes when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, but then they settled into the swamp they swore to drain. I took the Contract with America seriously, but the GOP leadership didn’t keep their vows to require balanced budgets, to hold Congress to the same laws as the rest of us, and to open up the work of Congressional committees to greater public scrutiny.

Under their watch, existing government programs continued to weaken America’s social fabric. The social engineering through entitlement programs failed to help those in need, and instead made the vulnerable more dependent on government. It created a welfare class, especially in the minority communities as evidenced by the further destruction of the family unit and degradation of the black community. Personal responsibility was gradually removed from the life equation. Bloated bureaucracies became the foundation of government instead of the Constitutions at the state and federal level.

But all this is not just the fault of Washington lawmakers. It is our responsibility to become a smarter, more demanding electorate. Americans -- especially Baby Boomers -- became complacent, financially fat, happy, apathetic and cynical of the process. We must delete short-term thinking and stay engaged between election cycles. We must accept that there will be a great deal of pain to extricate ourselves from this current crisis to leave a better America for the future. To remain selfish and shortsighted is to doom the future.

Government is needed and plays a vital role, but it needs to be cleaned out. That will not come from within. It will take outside pressure. We also need to decentralize power and put responsibility back in the hands of officials at the state and municipal level. We must give them the latitude to make choices and live with the consequences. The parties must put forth qualified candidates who not only express their desire to serve but, more importantly, their ability to do the job if elected. The American voter must not accept slick and polished mediocrity.

There is optimism in the awakened America mainly through the Tea Party Movement and in every citizen who now sees an overreaching government as the problem. In a confluence of times and technology, ease of information access and sharing, we have begun to ask government at all levels to do what is enumerated in the Constitution.

I have witnessed many simple but encouraging examples of citizen courage. The volunteers and leadership of my organization, TeaParty365, work tirelessly to educate themselves, each other, neighbors and strangers honestly. They’re Republicans, Democrats, Independents or have no political affiliation. Recently a tall imposing black man in a dashiki stopped me in Columbus Square with the words, "Tea Party?" I hesitated, not knowing what would come next. He shook my hand, said thanks and told me keep up the good work and said that no one defines him. I do not know his party nor did I ask. He is simply an American.

David Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in April 2009. It has an active membership of thousands in New York City and was a founding member organization in the National Tea Party Federation. He is host of "The David Webb Show" on Sirius XM Patriot.


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Comments [8]

Daniel from NYC

David hits the nail right on the head.

And for lily from Manhattan - the Middle Class didn't make this country strong, nor did any "class" except one: The people who were willing to use their minds, in some productive purpose, work hard in some work, save and get some prosperity going on for themselves. And the brightest and hardest working ones - the best industrialists - built the most and contributed the most. Social levels and other hocus pocus terms don't go to work everyday - Individuals do.

So here's a bright idea that stops all the problems and was the source of them all: Stop taking money from these people who earn it, to give it to people who don't - healthcare mandates, welfare, lousy corporation's bailouts ETC.

And for the record - the Tea Parties are about ideas, and putting them into practice - free enterprise for work, limited government, fiscal responsibility. Ideas don't have a skin color.

Sep. 13 2010 10:08 PM
Ann Marwick from Putnam County, NY

It is interesting that whenever one hears a tea party person give his/her views, all the comments are in the negative- what they don't want (no more taxes, little government involvement) but no new ideas ever surface as to how to run the country. It is always easy to decry and criticize but not so easy to have answers. AS FOR "TAKING THE COUNTRY BACK", what does that mean exactly? To most of us it sounds like a commentary on having a President who is not a white middle-aged evangelist. From what or from whom do they think they need to take it back? In all the soundbites I have heard, they sound very like red-necked right-wing ignorant people to my ear. It is a shame they receive so much media attention.

Sep. 07 2010 10:02 PM
Jim White from Abq.,NM

"This group is nothing more than a bunch of corporate fat-cats manipulating the uninformed."

Obviously they aren't doing a very good job if you think you are correct in your diatribe. As a proud member in NM, I have yet to see any "Corporate Fat-Cat" organize or fund a gathering. Everything was done at the "Grass roots" level. If you want to see a fat-cat gathering try a Union sponsored event some time with their trucked in protesters and store bought signs.

Sep. 07 2010 03:49 PM
Rob Sheridan from the Bronx

I asked the question of David Webb today, about campaign finance reform, and I would have to say that he did not didge it, surprised me with how much he had thought about the issue.... and generally impressed me as a political thinker. I am a centrist democrat, anti-libertarian, so I'm not going to be a Tea Party guy any time soon, but I really do think that he articulated his positions and the logic of trying to manage the conflicting forces within that movement very well. I was impressed, and I have not been impressed by the voices from the Tea Party, at all, until I heard him.

Sep. 07 2010 03:40 PM


Sep. 07 2010 11:22 AM
lily from Manhattan

I would like to post a correction: Your tea party guest said "Big business makes us wealthy."

In fact, what made us the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the world (mid-20th century) was a HUGE, PROSPEROUS MIDDLE CLASS.

And how was that achieved? (cover the children's ears) Social programs that elevated and protected said middle class. Tax dollars for education, housing, schools, judicial system, hospitals etc etc. THAT's how we get rich and stable.

LEtting rich people get richer and the rest of the country fall into poverty (the condition that George W Bush created) is a THIRD WORLD model.

American government was an ingenious development; it prevented us from harming eachother in our quest for survival and more. Government needs a great Madison Avenue ad campaign. It is being abused in public discourse by those who don't understand it.

The tea party is like a group of 4 year olds who 'don't wanna be told what to do!' Four year olds can't see past the peas on their plate. It's a mistake to let them have control of this great nation.

Sep. 07 2010 11:15 AM
Vandenbroek from PA

The Tea Party and it's many manifestations are hardly "grass roots." Just follow the money ...

In an article in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker magazine, author Jane Mayer links the billionaire brothers David Koch and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries to tea party movement funding. Mayer writes,

"The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs. By giving money to “educate,” fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.” With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there—people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies."

Reports indicate that the Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement flows primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.

In an April 9, 2009 article on, Lee Fang reports that the principal organizers of Tea Party events are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, two "lobbyist-run think tanks" that are "well funded" and that provide the logistics and organizing for the Tea Party movement from coast to coast.

The Tea Party has also gotten substantial support in the form of promotion from Fox News Channel and its talk show hosts, including Glenn Beck. Karl Frisch of Media Matters wrote that Fox News "frequently aired segments imploring its audience to get involved with tea-party protests across the country." Fox has also provided organizing information for the events on air and online.

This group is nothing more than a bunch of corporate fat-cats manipulating the uninformed.

Sep. 07 2010 10:08 AM
Bill O'Connell from Long Island

David sums it up pretty well. The first question we should always ask with any government program or action is, "Is this really a function of government or should I be personally responsible for doing this?" We have a guide at the federal level, it's called the Constitution but it is rarely followed. We have to get back to minimal government. Put charity back in its rightful place and with less taxes that should be possible as all funding is sliced from one pie, us.

Sep. 07 2010 07:17 AM

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