The tea parties are a unique populist movement and moment in American history. There is no charismatic leader of the movement. The tea parties have more grass roots movers, shakers, and members, than any populist movement ever seen in our country. So what makes it so different from previous populist political factions?His answer:
So what makes the tea parties different? I have attended several local tea party gatherings (and addressed a couple of them). There is one document that is ubiquitous at these events: the Constitution for the United States of America. People hand out copies of the Constitution like hors d'oeuvres that are served at ... a de rigueur tea party.As Dr. Arnn insisted, the return to constitutional principles is essential if the experiment in political freedom is to continue on a sound footing. Those who are quick to label the so-called Tea Party Movement as some kind of know-nothing right-wing lunatic fringe are missing the point. Again Anderson:
At one tea party, I helped a women lug a couple of cardboard boxes filled with pocket-sized copies of the Constitution into the hotel conference room. We sat the boxes on a folding table next to the dais for the speakers. "I only bought a thousand copies. You think that will be enough?" she asked me.
I smiled. "Enough for today..." I started to reply.
"Excuse me," a man interrupted us. He carried another box full of copies of the Constitution and set his box on the table next to her two boxes. He opened his box and began handing out the Constitution to the people who were filing into the meeting room. "Plenty," I told the woman and we laughed.
"Populist Constitutionalism" - that's what the tea parties are all about. Love and respect for the Constitution is driving the movement. Sharing the document, and then discussing the meaning, purpose, and the ideas of the Constitution, that is the process that is taking place as a result of this love and respect.
Anderson's article is here.