Broward Tea Party

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The Meeting: A Blog by Charles Robertson, Co-founder Broward Tea Party

The Meeting

By Charles Robertson

It was in another endless waste of time meeting when I recalled my Dale Carnegie training; I still have the booklet titled “Meetings – Quicker & Better Results.”  They laid out a great plan on how to streamline meetings by showing how to identify problems, find solutions and create a plan of action.  The thought hit me that we need to apply this on a much larger scale, as this is exactly what our country needs.  This idea started forming while I was listening to WFTL 850 AM’s Joyce Kaufman radio talk show.  A caller was going off on Obama when Joyce correctly pointed out that Obama was not the problem.  The problem, she said, “was the majority of voters elected a President who was a community organizer with no experience, no voting record, no history of sponsored legislation and no qualifications for the office other than charisma and good speaking skills”.  I couldn’t agree more.  So then, how do we fix this?  This is where the booklet comes in; let’s follow the steps.

Step 1. Ask everyone, “What is the problem?”  Getting a consensus on this can take awhile as people are frequently divided on what the problem is.  Since I’m holding this meeting in my mind, identifying the problem is easy; it’s whatever I say it is.  I say the problem is American values have changed (for the worse).  I say this because American’s elect presidents who reflect their values.  The candidate’s platform is America’s wish list.  Our values shape what issues are most relevant and the politician’s focused group-tested responses are formulated based on what we value.  Based on past election results, I’m reminded of a saying that I’d revise to explain our situation.  The saying goes, “Second marriages are the triumph of hope over experience.”  As applied to politics, I’d rewrite this to say, “Barack Obama represents the triumph of hope and change over traditional American values.”  Americans have come to ignore the resume’ and instead focus on the superficial…the feeling.  What are the causes of this problem? Well, that’s step 2. 

In step 2, everyone offers possible causes of the problem.  I hear a lot of voices in my head (getting crowded in there) listing the causes.  I’ll start the list:

  1. 1.       God is being pushed out – Traditional values are taught in the family, but also taught and reinforced at church.  Since the 70’s, church attendance has been in a steady decline.  Growing secularism is a threat to our Republic as more and more people are turning to government over God; I’m reminded of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. 
  2. 2.        Liberal Hollywood – Most TV programming ignores “middle” America.  We live amongst a Jerry Springer culture that thirsts for increasingly shocking sensationalism.  While this culture may be a minority, TV programming caters to them.  Anyone from the past viewing TV today would think we’re a violent, dysfunctional, over sexed, immature society.  Americans, most of whom waste too much time watching this garbage, are influenced by what they see.   Traditional American values are not just missing from the media, they’re ridiculed and attacked.
  3. 3.       Liberal educational system – My daughter had a high school teacher, who several years ago, explained to his class that Republicans didn’t care about minorities, and then proceeded with his right-wing bashing.  This type of foul behavior in our education system is prevalent and generally goes unchallenged unless it’s conservatives attacking liberalism.  Our society used to value fairness, now it is open season on conservatism in an arena that should encourage healthy debate.
  4. 4.       Apathy – How many times have you heard others say, “I’m fed up with politics” (or politicians), or “the system is broken – you can’t make a difference.”  This is used as an excuse for doing nothing.   Americans faced with rising taxes, continued unemployment, a toxic ever- increasing debt, loss of liberties, and growing government intrusion in our lives are content to do nothing more than…. complain; Activism and civic responsibility are values in decline.
  5. 5.       Selfishness - Pick any special interest: abortion rights, gay rights, immigration, or Social Security & Medicare, and you’ll find an increasing number of Americans who are preoccupied with that interest…voting based on who promises them the most.  Liberals are buying votes on borrowed dollars knowing that when the bill comes due, conservatives will be left to fix the damage. Conservatives are then attacked for hurting those interest groups.   The American value of compromise has become a marketing game of putting forth only an illusion of mutual deal-making without real concessions being offered on either side.  Americans are to blame for not holding their elected officials accountable and for putting their self-interests above the common good.
  6. 6.       Broken families – Broken families on average require more government assistance. That assistance has grown in so many areas that it now rewards single parent households.  Getting or staying married can cost you benefits.  Children of broken families grow up dependent on government handouts, not learning the values of self-reliance, self-sacrifice, or the skills to improve their economic circumstances.  Low-income, government-dependent citizens, overwhelmingly vote for the liberal who they see as their source of support.  This self-defeating cycle feeds on itself. 
  7. 7.       The 2 Party Monopoly – While both parties bitterly engage each other, perhaps the one thing they share is their common interest in seeing that a 3rd party does not rise to power.  After all, the seesaw, ebb and flow of political power, means that if they’re out of ruling majority favor now, the political cycle will eventually restore them to power.  A viable 3rd party could change that dynamic and restore a value that proclaims we are a people that supports the best ideasMoney, lobbyists, special interests, and blind party allegiance have worked against a 3rd party, limiting our choices usually, to two; bad and worse.

Hopefully, you’re in agreement with some of these possible causes to our problems, because now you’re being invited in for the more important second half of the meeting, Step 3. The 3rd Step requires you to offer possible solutions.  I need you to respond to this blog with your solution(s). I’ll list them, with your name, in the next blog.  I’ll list everyone’s solution no matter how crazy it may sound, and then we’ll move to step 4.  In step 4, we’ll select the best possible solution, which may be one idea or a combination of several.  The final solution becomes our plan of action, because we’re here to act not study.  With that in mind, let’s keep our solutions specific, doable, and local.  We the people of the Tea Party need to step forward and fight to restore our values that are under attack.  You joined to make a difference and now you’re being called to do just that.  I’m waiting on your reply. Please, send your responses to:  info@theBrowardTeaParty.com  

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3 thoughts on “The Meeting: A Blog by Charles Robertson, Co-founder Broward Tea Party

  1. Maria Lima on said:

    I read this post when it first came in through my email…I was STUNNED by it, because it so echoed my own thoughts and heart on the matter. Notice the order..thoughts AND heart. To me you need BOTH! I agree completely with Charles’ assessment of what is missing/the source of all the unraveling of our nation’s culture. A return to the values that shaped our very core is needed! Contrary to what this President has preached around the world, WE HAVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN NATION, founded on Judeo/Christian values and principles by men whose own lives were shaped and molded by their faith. Our present culture has perverted and twisted this with political correctness and the false notion that our diversity and ‘meltingpot’ nature do not allow for us to remain a Christian nation. This is a lie, and we MUST STOP BUYING INTO IT! As a Christian nation we welcomed wave after wave of immigrants yearning for the freedom and opportunity found on our shores, which they were indeed free to live precisely BECAUSE of our values, not ever experienced anywhere else on earth!

    Frankly, I have been remiss in practicing what I preach within our Tea Party, because ‘social issues’ had been strictly avoided. My own heart has always felt it is folly to do so, but I have respected the set up given us by our founders. Indeed, fiscal responsibility and a strong economy ARE pillars of a right culture. But in my own mind and heart, they cannot come to a society that is NOT built on a solid foundation. A nation that has turned its back on all the good and Godliness it was founded on…cannot hope to establish an economic system that will flourish and prosper.

    So what do we do? What solutions can I suggest to help our Tea Party focus on this bigger picture and make a difference? I believe that creating committees that will reach out to different segments of our community to identify and address the issues Charles identifies, finding ways to bring them to the forefront is one thing we can do. For example, in recent times, religious freedom has been under severe attack, in violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution. This is definitely an issue our Tea Party, as defender of our Constitution, can get involved with. Same with recent attacks on our second amendment, the Right to bear arms. Our Tea Party should be at the helm of making our community fully AWARE of these issues. Rallies could be held, literature distributed, flyers made up and distributed in target communities. All these actions can be done NOW….this way, when elections come around, it will be easier to identify candidates that are aligned with our philosophy…and are willing to say so. We will also build relationships within the community, and increase our numbers, while EDUCATING voters!

    The idea of non-partisanship that has been so actively promoted by our Tea Party must also be continued. We are NOT Republican nor Democrat. We are Conservative, Constitutional, AMERICANS!

    I know I’ve rambled a little here. Sorry! I really do feel strongly about this, and feel there is MUCH opportunity for making a difference at this time of transition. I’ll be happy to add if needed. Just let me know.

  2. Frank Denninger on said:

    First Maria’s idea is great as well as very warranted but a small group like BTP unless part of a National campaign may not be to get close to the goal of reestablishing morals in America.
    One topic within Broward Tea Party’s capabilities I know that could be impacted by RTP’s participation is a project called the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG). This is a multi-use NON-MOTORIZED trail 75 miles long between Miami and Naples along the Tamiami Trail/US 41 to be set aside for bicycles, hikers and wheel chairs (think ADA) There is a web site riverofgrassgreenway.org in place to accept ideas from the public about the program.
    My thought is that conservative thinkers such as BTP members should go to this site, register and provide many comments advising the ROGG program in a sweet and polite professional mann er the problems that spending the 8oo,000 dollars per mile that their Sarbanes grant application alluded to will cause to the future generation that will bear the burden of paying for this project.
    To anyone that might say “Oh they won’t listen” I have this answer – This site is a legal record that proponents cannot disregard and it matters greatly to this ROGG coming to pass. Up until now the conservative issues haven’t been mentioned much.
    Most critical non-cheerleader ideas/comments of concern myself and others have provided deal with environmental and road safety issues that may be difficult to overcome . Money although mentioned a time or two hasn’t been focused on.
    My idea for BTP is that they be the LOUD conservative voice from the South Florida that has a serious financial stake in a project like this funded with your Federal road tax money – yes your money and everyone elses in America.
    I would agree to help and guide the group in thie effort as I have attended 40 hours of meetings, work groups etc. and understand how to develop a strategy to deal with it.
    Nowadays it seems as though the Tea Party isn’t on the radar screen that much especially pertaining to local issues. BTP would be on the radar screen very visibly after being involved in a campaign to inform all especially the program administrators of ROGG what BTP thinks about spending so much money on a bike path when the country is essentially broke.
    Most of this effort could be accomplished on a pc.
    In the end it is up to BTP.
    Thanks for reading.

    • Frank,
      I passed this info on to Charles; he said it sounds like a good idea. Perhaps you could talk to Kristin or Bob about a short presentation for an upcoming meeting…April’s meeting is full, but maybe May?
      If you will write up a short presentation with related links, I can email it out to the group, or blog it here on WordPress.
      Judith

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