Some Letters Beating Me Up Over My Tea Party Articles

-By Warner Todd Huston

Well I’ve now written six — this makes seven — articles criticizing certain failures of the Tea Party movement thus far. They are all meant to be constructive criticisms, though, not dismissive nor derogatory of them. It’s measured introspection I employ in each of these articles. No name calling, no laughing, no hate. There is just no logical way to construe what I’ve written thus far as hate against the Tea Party movement. But this whole Tea Party thing reveals several things to me. First of all it shows that there is still a lot of passion for them and that is a very good thing. I want the Tea Party groups to succeed and I want them to become a force that can teach the GOP a lesson. The other main thing it shows me is that too many people can’t read for comprehension these days.

The sad thing is that these days even the slightest criticism of a thing is seen by too many as outright hostility. Everyone is so hypersensitive that even a mild criticism meant as an exercise in introspection is seen as an over-the-top attack. It doesn’t just happen on the right, either. Look at what happened to all those Hillary Clinton supporters during the run up to the 2008 presidential elections. The constructive criticism that Hillary fans offered the Democrats was pounded down so hard by the left that many Hillary supporters found themselves aligned — and some permanently — with the side they thought they opposed; the Republicans.

Naturally there’s the name callers and nay sayers always floating around out there. I had one guy, for instance, say, “who asked you for your opinion” of the Tea Parties? This same guy then went on to give me HIS opinion of them evoking the obvious rejoinder of just who the hell asked him for his opinion, anyway? Obviously he wasn’t bright enough to “get” that concept!

Speaking of “getting” things, there were plenty of folks absolutely sure I wasn’t “getting” what the Tea Parties were all about. Naturally, they all went on to make assumptions about my points based on the “thought” coming out of their rear-ends, not based on anything I wrote. Such as the many that think I am saying that the GOP should co-opt the TP movement and the others, just as wrong, that say I am advocating for a third party. Neither of these concepts did I utter a word about, though.

There was also quite a few brain-dead comments claiming I was really just a guy “shilling” for the Republican Party. I was “sold out,” and I was a “stout apologist” for the GOP. Gosh. I am so glad these illiterate fools were able to tell me that I am a GOP insider, or else I’d have never known it. Of course, that would be news to the party I wrote THIS letter to way back in 2006 when I told them I was no longer part of their party! That would be news to the Tea Party folks I stood next to last year as we protested government overreach, too.

But the most important thing that this whole Tea Party discussion showed me is that many of the Tea Party folks themselves seem to have no concrete idea about what they are all on about. A particularly good example of that came from a well-meaning fellow from Florida. Even as he spelled my name wrong, here is what he wrote:

Mr. Warner Todd Houston….

Your motivation is good but I don’t think you get it. The tea party in my view is educational, not a party per se…. They are the passion of the millions of people who sit in front of their TVs and scream at the idiots in the government who are ignoring the constitution and bill of rights. Like that PRESIDENT FROM HELL OBAMA THE MARXIST…..

So not to be too excited about the Tea Partiers not winning elections, they have no interest in themselves winning elections. Only to educate the millions of previously ignorant electorate who are finally getting busy and learning about thier country and the electoral system we used to have, and how incredibly easy and simple it was to have their country taken away from them in one single election cycle…..They are really scared now, and alert…..

At least this fellow didn’t call me a shill for the fetid GOP! But I think this letter shows that too many of these people have no idea what to do with their power as a movement and no idea what others intend with their efforts. Yet they are all cock-sure they know the whole story and everyone else doesn’t “get it.”

Here was my reply to the fellow from Florida:


First off I want to thank you for the letter. I think you sort of prove my point that the Tea Party groups have some major problems ahead of them.

Actually, I think it is you that doesn’t “get it.” YOU might think the Tea Party groups are “just educational,” but that would be news to all the Tea Party groups (like those in Ill. I wrote about) that endorsed candidates and worked for their campaigns!

If these groups are supposed to be “just educational” like you think they are supposed to be, then your beef is with them, not me! After all, when you endorse candidates and work for their election you have left the world of mere “education” and joined the world of politics.

My evaluation is based on how they acted in this election. If all they want to do is educate, then they should not be working on campaigns.

Still, I find your position less than gratifying even if all they are trying to do is educate people. What good is all this educating on politics if no one heeds the education, if no one is actually guided by it?

My chief concern is that in the long run these Tea Party groups will end up making people even more cynical about politics, make people feel they aren’t paid attention to, aren’t listened to, make conservatives feel even more distanced from politics than they already do.

I want the TP groups to succeed. But to do that they will have to become a force that will make people sit up and pay attention.

Again, I think you are the one not getting it. You said: “So not to be too excited about the Tea Partiers not winning elections, they have no interest in themselves winning elections.”

Clearly you are completely wrong about them not having an interest in winning elections. A dozen of these Tea Party groups here in Illinois DID work for campaigns. They did endorse candidates. They did push candidates. That is nothing like this blase assumption you seem to have of having “no interest” in elections!!

But, let’s even think about this claim of yours about “having no interest in winning elections.” If you have no interest in elections, yet claim to have an opinion on politics… isn’t that a contradiction? Why have an opinion at all if you have no interest in winning?

Sir, I thank you for the email and am glad you took the time to write. But if you are an example of the average Tea Party goer I think you are an example of how confused and ineffective Tea Party groups are going to be going forward! I think many Tea Party supporters are very misinformed about politics, completely unaware of what to do once involved, and will find themselves frustrated and just as powerless as they feared they were when they went into the whole thing.

I can only sadly shake my head at the trouble for our side that might come out of this.

Thanks again for the message

Warner Todd Huston (not Houston)

Lastly, I need to say this… are all Tea Party groups a failure? Certainly not and I am not proposing that they are. I am aware of many of them — in Ohio, the East Coast, even in southern Illinois, Tennessee, and other places — that are doing great work. I cheer them and support them. But if more don’t start stepping up and start organizing on a greater level by the 2010 elections the movement risks causing more cynicism about politics than ever in the very people we need to enflame with political passion. And if the movement itself doesn’t start to find a more concrete message and a more unified direction we might see come of it more trouble for our side then for the enemy’s.

So, you nimrods that want to think that I hate the Tea Party movement and that I’m all for the GOP can gripe all you want. I want these groups to succeed and my writing about the movement is meant to spur a more concerted effort and greater success. We need to focus Tea Party groups for the long haul. That is what I hope to help spur with these articles. Maybe I’m making them mad at me, but I hope they take that anger and channel it to success. And, no, nobody asked me. Who asked you? And isn’t that the POINT of the Tea Parties? To stick your 2 cents in places where the party bigwigs and left-wingers want you to stay out of?

My Other Tea Party Movement Discussions

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

One thought on “
Some Letters Beating Me Up Over My Tea Party Articles”

  1. Alas and forsooth, chronic irrationality spread by our wonderful public edjamacation system impacts even the politically conservative who have allowed liberals to control that system for way too long. Thus the inability to “read for comprehension” runs rampant through not just the left, but also penetrates the right. Which is one reason my blog focusses on “critical thinking” so much. Incidentally, you might find this post of mine of some utility in your endeavors:

    Feel free to steal the graphic if need be.

    Forging ever onward!

Comments are closed.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001