What does it take to lead a grassroots movement like a Tea Party?
Christie Carden of Huntsville, AL (http://hsvteaparty.com/
) is a community organizer not unlike Our Dear Leader. Unlike Our Dear Leader, she inspires real hope and has already effected positive change. She agreed to talk to News Platoon in order to help us answer that question.
"I was interested in philosophy, not politics."
Christie attended Hardin University in Arkansas as a History major and a Bible minor. Discussions with peers would turn into philosophical and political debates.
"I was young and naive--and a Liberal."
"At a young age, when you are still easily molded, I fell into the raw emotion attached with a lot of liberal stances - just like a lot of people in college do."
But the debates proved effective; Christie found a young Conservative who wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Eric and I would debate for hours. He slowly convinced me that conservatism makes more sense."
Eric turned out to be very persuasive indeed; they wed in 2004 and later moved to Huntsville.
"I didn't really start paying attention until the 2008 Presidential elections. It wasn't until then that I began to understand how necessary it is to get active and stay active in politics on all levels."
When Obama got elected with his big ideas about changing the country through spending every dollar he could mint, fate had an answer.
"I first heard of the Tea Parties through Facebook which led me to www.taxdayteaparty.com
. I joined the conference calls and drove to Nashville in February to help Judson Phillips."
But that wasn't enough.
"I wanted to see a tea party here in Huntsville. I waited a few days for someone to start a Tea Party in Huntsville, but couldn't find one. So finally Mike Leahy [a Nashville native one of the national organizers] said 'Go for it.'"
That became the birth of the Huntsville Tax Day Tea Party.
"Dale Jackson interviewed me on his show early on. He was skeptical at first, but came around and ended up emcee'ing the event, as well as hosting his own 'On-Air Tax Day Tea Party'."
That got the ball rolling, but not as big as what happened next.
"I listed my phone number on the national website and quickly went over my minutes due to receiving so many calls."
Even though the word of mouth was great, that wasn't the cog that turned the wheel. Once again, Facebook came to the rescue.
"Facebook is great because you can create groups and events for people to join and RSVP to, can send out mass messages, post links. There are forums, etc."
And so the Tea Party was spread virulently across the community, reaching people that would have otherwise would have been oblivious.
"Many more people turned out than I expected, which was a great thing! HPD said there were 2,300 there, but I heard multiple people, including news stations, estimate even 3,000."
When asked the best way to organize people on short notice in this day and age, Christie had this to say:
"Facebook is much better for organizing, compared to Twitter. You can create groups and events for people to join and RSVP to, can send out mass messages, post links. There are forums, etc."
Since the Huntsville Tax Day Tea Party, Christie has been involved in several mini protests, including the impromptu response to the House passing the Cap & Trade bill. (Cap & Trade still has to pass the SEnate before it reaches Obama's desk.)
Two new protests are on Christie's calendar. First is the Huntsville Independence Day Tea Party
. Second is the July 17th protest of Obamacare
Also, as State Coordinator, Christie alerted me to these Independence Day Tea Parties: Birmingham, Cullman, Dothan, Athens, Fairhope, Fort Payne, Greenville, Guntersville, Hueytown, Morgan County, Mobile, Montgomery, Trussville, and Wetumpka. For more information and up-to-date info, please visit http://alabamateapartypatriots.homestead.com