(Photo credit: Fox News)
by Diane Rufino, June 16, 2019
Just recently, I heard something absolutely offensive from Amy Kremer, spokeswoman for Women For Trump (and from what I can tell, the only member!)
This past week-end, Amy was stumping for Dr. Greg Murphy (for US Congress from eastern NC, which is district 3) at one of his events, and as she has done over and over in the past, she used her pulpit to spread the same tired lies about his opponent, Dr. Joan Perry, that she enjoyed spreading when she first came to Pitt County to support him. She went on to accuse Dr. Perry of being a “Pelosi liberal” and of having no intention of supporting President Trump when she gets to DC. It was an offensive rant, and several who listened to her showed expressions of disgust. I guess after hearing Dr. Murphy complain over and over again of the negative campaign ads against him, one would think he would have the decency of not doing the very same thing to Dr. Perry, and especially from his very own platform! But politics is politics, I guess. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can’t let the name-calling and the politically-motivated accusations roll off you, then perhaps politics isn’t for you. If you want to win bad enough, then sling the shit.
There are no tissues in politics and there are no safe spaces. If Dr. Murphy can dish it, it’s best he learn to take it.
But that’s not what bothered me, because I know politics is a dirty game, and I know ambition when I see it and I know what it does to a person’s character and how it affects his or her actions. In other words, I’ve come to accept it. What bothered me was Kremer’s comment that she – yes, SHE – started the Tea Party movement back in 2009.
I couldn’t believe my ears…. Was she really trying to take credit for the whole Tea Party movement? Was she daring to take credit for a movement that can be best characterized as a “grassroots movement”?? Does she even realize that the Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement? Was she conscious during the years 2009-2019? To someone like me who started a Tea party group in 2009, who has worked tirelessly at that group to keep it going and growing to the group it is today, who has worked tirelessly with other Tea Party and like-minded groups to educate on and further the principles on which the movement had coalesced, who has worked diligently and honestly as an activist in ways to expose the abuse and dishonesty and incompetence in government, who has worked in every way possible to compensate for the gross inundation of fake news and political propaganda out there by exposing the facts (collected by doing the hard work of reading and investigating and asking hard questions) and trying to set the record straight, who has confronted the negative accusations about the Tea Party, who has won over hundreds of voters, and who has fought, written, blogged, protested, met with legislators to push back against every bit of progressivism and every bit of government over-reach, there is no more absolute truth than this: There is NO ONE PERSON who can take credit for the Tea Party movement or has the right to.
The fact that Kremer can even suggest that she “started the movement” shows that she fundamentally lacks an understanding of the movement in general. She is nothing more than an opportunist, a woman badly seeking attention and validation.
The Tea Party movement was an organic, grassroots movement started in 2009 when Rick Santelli, a CNBC business news reporter (on “Task Force”) who was reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade on February 18, 2009, went off on a rant about the government bail-out program. [See the rant here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcvSjKCU_Zo ] Santelli accused the Obama administration of promoting bad behavior and suggested something novel for DC legislators: “government should reward people who can ‘carry the water’ instead of those who just ‘drink the water.’’ He then posed a question to the Chicago Board of Trade: “Who wants to subsidize other people’s mortgage?” The response was over-whelming. Everyone thought the program was asinine and offensive. They were tired of the government using taxpayer dollars to try to keep people in homes that they will never be able to keep making payments on. As Santelli was hinting to, there is no “right to own a home” in America, no matter how much Democrats want it to be so. The so-called “Second Bill of Rights” that they so love to promise to their voters (something FDR had come up with in 1944 – to include the “right “to a job, food, clothing, recreation, a home, medical care, sound education, economic equality, and freedom from the fear of unemployment, old age, sickness, and unfair competition) is not a list of inherent rights, attaching automatically to our very humanity, but rather a list of services that will have to be provided to some at the expense of others. Santelli ended his rant with this invitation: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists who want to show up on Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start planning it…”
With that rant, and that simple call to peaceful protest and civil disobedience, Tea Party protests immediately began popping up everywhere. People, young and old, met in fields, in parks, in parking lots, in stadiums, at intersections, etc to protest the government bail-out program and its plans to control national healthcare. After those initial protests, Tea Party groups organized all over the country – in towns and cities, each in their own way and having their own unique flavor. Some organized as larger monthly group meetings and some organized to meet om a smaller scale – in intimate “table-talk” groups. Some focused on planning big events and protests, some focused on education and learning, some focused on griping, some organized for the purpose of infiltrating their local GOP to weed out the overbearing establishment influence, some organized mainly to vet Tea Party candidates for all types of offices, and some focused on such useful goals as serving as government (local, state, and federal) watchdog groups. Some groups didn’t last for more than a few years (with members moving into the GOP to pressure that group to return to stronger and more principled conservatism) while many others are still going strong (serving as the conservative beacon of their counties). All, however, have achieved one important goal – to promote the principles on which the Tea Party movement began, as inspired by Rick Santelli’s rant – limited government, constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and free markets. All have helped to swing the political pendulum further to the right and all have helped to demonize establishment conservatives. All have served an important role – to help educate and inform their local voters; to make more responsible voters out of them. All have made a difference.
Almost immediately, Tea Party members were able to figure out the stark reality – that all of the current problems and troubles in our country stem from one thing and one thing only – a government that has grown too aggressive and bloated, concentrating too many government powers in DC (far more than were delegated to it under the US Constitution), that has become abusive and reckless with those powers, and has become too intrusive and controlling in the lives and affairs of We the People, with our property, and in our businesses and livelihoods. The federal government has never met a law it doesn’t like or a problem it doesn’t want to solve (with more laws, bureaucracy, and tax dollars, of course). A people who understand and appreciate that our nation’s problems stem from the refusal of all three branches of the federal government to confine itself to the limits imposed by the Constitution can engage in politics, whether as an activist, a party member, or a voter in a manner that will help restore proper constitutional balance and restraint. We can only help to get our “house” in order when we are willing to stand up and fight for those principles that can make it so. Being an American, to we Tea Party folk, is not about wearing red, white, and blue shirts, waving an American flag or a “Don’t Tread on Me (Gadsden flag), marching on Washington DC, or any other type of similar demonstrative act…. It’s about taking the time to know our founding history, reading our founding documents, and understanding – truly understanding – what makes our country so unique and so intelligently designed to exist as a free nation; that is, to be able to secure and protect the God-given rights and other liberty rights that individuals are naturally entitled to. And it’s about being willing to fight for them, particularly in the arena that matters most – in speech and expression, and in the political arena. We represent the best in America, her ideals and her assurances…. Not the ones that politicians offer but the ones that the Declaration, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights articulate.
The gains made by the Tea Party movement have been made on the local level, by well-meaning folks committed to restoring proper governance in our country and committed to educating and spreading the word to their communities. The success of the movement is not related to the success of Women for Trump or groups like that, but rather to the success of groups in towns and cities all over the country in being effective spokesman for our founding principles.
I’ve never heard the name Amy Kremer before this spring. The first time I heard her name was on a local radio program when she had come to Greenville to endorse Greg Murphy for the US House. It was also the first time I had her of her organization, Women for Trump. I immediately discounted her of having any meaningful influence because she totally lacked any credibility. The talk radio show host almost seemed to be holding back laughter from the ridiculousness and the idiocy of her answers. Kremer or her group have never come to Greenville, NC or any other town in eastern NC. They have never once contacted either the ENC Tea Party or the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA), which is the largest, most active Tea Party group in the state. Kremer supposedly worked for Tea Party Express several years ago. Yet, that group also has never come to Greenville, NC or has never contacted the ENC Tea Party or CCTA to see what they are doing or what they might need help with.
Again, there is a certain audacity that Kremer has in claiming she started the Tea Party movement. As I said earlier, too say something so outrageous simply means that she lacks a fundamental understanding of what the Tea Party movement was, is, and continues to be about. The Tea Party movement is THE PEOPLE – much like the Sons of Liberty in the colonial days. The movement is comprised of ordinary folks who love their country, who are enamored with the system of government and the principles upon which our country was founded, who are deeply appreciative of those who created and adopted our founding documents, for the great wisdom and foresight they had and used, who refuse to sit on the sidelines and allow further government abuse and tyranny to go unnoticed and uncontested, and who volunteer their time and energy to be active in politics on all levels. The Tea Party is not a top-down movement, but rather a grassroots, bottom-up movement – by the People, For the People No one person is the face of the Tea Party and no one person is responsible for it. Just as the intolerable actions of the British King and Parliament caused the colonists to get off their seats and into the political arena (“No taxation without representation!”) and into action (acts of civil disobedience to frustrate the enforcement of the laws passed by Parliament enacted without representation by the colonies), the intolerable actions of our own federal government have inspired a new generation of American patriots to get out of their chairs and into the political arena.
If Amy Kremer wanted to truly act in the best interests of the Tea Party, she should have contacted the REAL Tea Parties in eastern North Carolina, which SHE DID NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO DO !! Local Tea Parties would have a far greater handle on the candidates than someone like her could ever have. But she is more interested in putting her own name and her own ego before the movement – something a true Tea Party activist would never ever do. She is more concerned in elevating her own relevance than in elevating or promoting the Tea Party movement.
Kremer is a fraud and a hack. She is a lobbyist, not a Tea Partier. She is offensive and an opportunist.