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  • Reclaiming America: Why We Honor the Tea Party Movement

    The Salvatori Prize

    Remember when Conservatism was supposed to be dead and America was primed for a New New Deal? Well, a funny thing has happened on the road to the latest iteration of progressive liberalism—The Tea Party Movement.

    The Tea Party Movement has been one of the most significant citizen efforts in our times to revive America’s founding principles. Across the country, people who had before never been engaged in politics—people like Billie Tucker of The First Coast Tea Party —began to attend rallies with homemade signs begging for fiscal common sense and a return to constitutional government. This grass roots movement has been much maligned (especially on the left and in the media) and rarely honored for their activities. Until now.

    At the 2010 Resource Bank, the Tea Party Movement was recognized as the recipient of the annual Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship. Named for entrepreneur and philanthropist Henry Salvatori, the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship is given annually to American citizens who uphold and advance America’s principles, embody the virtues of character and mind that animated America’s Founders, and exemplify the spirit of independence and entrepreneurial citizenship in the United States. Matthew Spalding explained why Heritage honored the Tea Party Movement with this award:

    Behind [The Tea Party Movement’s] activities and motivating their efforts is not a single issue or partisan agenda but a deepening commitment and advocacy of the truths of the Declaration of Independence and the basic principles of the United States Constitution. Because of the significance of this effort, bringing America’s first principles to the fore of the public debate, motivating millions of their fellow Americans to get involved in the effort to revive those principles and to reorient our politics toward them, the 2010 Henry Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship is awarded to the Tea Party Movement and thereby honors all those American citizens nationwide who are now newly committed to renewing American liberty.

    The Tea Party Movement is in good company. Past recipients of the Salvatori Prize include David McCullough (2009) and Princeton University professor Robert P. George (2008) as well as the Mount Vernon Ladies Association (2005) and The Federalist Society (2006).

    The Tea Party Movement is truly a grassroots movement. It was not organized by one individual or group. As a result, there is no single recipient of the award. Instead, the funding from the Salvatori Prize has been used to help meet the tremendous demand for educational materials from tea party organizations across the country. So far, 265 Tea Party Movement leaders from every state and the District of Columbia have received a collection of First Principles resources, monographs, and books: including copies of We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, and How to Read the Federalist Papers. An even greater number of groups has received bulk copies of the pocket Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and Heritage fact sheets to distribute at their events.

    Like their 18th century brethren, today’s Tea Party Movement faces an impetuous vortex of government that everywhere extends its sphere of activity. But, as Spalding reminds us, there is a key difference between those early patriots and the movement today:

    Those early patriots had to establish their independence and to start anew. Our task is different. It is not about fixed bayonets but fixed principles; not about bullets but ballots. Our task is not to overthrow; it is not revolution; it is renewal and restoration of those self-evident truths of constitutional government at the heart of America

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    24 Responses to Reclaiming America: Why We Honor the Tea Party Movement

    1. Pingback: Jasiri X, Pittsburgh Rapper, Asks America: ‘What If The Tea Party Was Black … – Huffington Post (blog)

    2. Billie says:

      How wonderful Heritage is!

      It's a sad difference that have there always been people in leadership that truly love this country and her principles, we the people wouldn't be fighting for the simple basics.

      Thank you and God Bless!

    3. Lon Clay Hill; Miram says:

      For the most part, the Tea Party Folks appear to be intensely interested in preserving partisan privileges. [EXAMPLES: (1) I love my health care. Too bad for those outside our gated community. (2) I have an absolute right to my unlicensed weapons – too bad for those murdered by random acts of violence. (3) My grandfather never worried about Global warming. Why in the Heck should I pay attention to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet?? (4) We're Americans – Why should we provide a "decent respect to the Opinions of all Mankind?" (5) So, minority representation is a little scant at most of our rallies. Most of us don't use the "N" word.) And on and on it goes, the clamor of outraged privilege. As a son of the South, I add that Movements can be very positive and/or very negative. My grandfather was a member of the KKK.

    4. Dennis Georgia says:

      I am proud to be considered as a member. I have been called a terroist by hillary, a racist by members of congress, as well as other things. This group of people are waht has made this country great, poeple that are willing to stand up for what is right and lawfull, not bend and bow to all that is wrong, believe that people have a basic right to make their own decisions, the "guvment" is "of the people, by the people, and for the people".

    5. Pingback: Quit calling the Tea Party populist! – Salon

    6. Darryl Bryant Colora says:

      It is an honor for the Tea Party movement to be recognized in this manner. What would be more important is for the Tea Party followers and organizers to remember that partisanship tags, Democrat, Republican,Independant are not nearly as critical in the upcoming elections as the need to vote for the return of the basic rights and beliefs that this honor represent. We must put aside one issue partisian differences and unite to change the direction of government as it is going today. This is my biggest fear, that we fracture and as a result lose the momentum we now have. Let's not let that happen.

    7. Grace says:

      What an awesome honor to receive this award. This goes to show you what "We The People" can do when organized and determined.

    8. Randall Holland, Ari says:

      The Tea Party has a simple platform.

      1. Fiscal responsibility

      2. Constitutionally limited government

      3. Free markets

      Anything else is a figment of the MSM's imagination.

    9. Thomas Grady, Missou says:

      Thank you, Heritage. We at the Missouri Sovereignty Project are honored.

      Thomas Grady, Founder

      (Came to you from Instapundit.)

    10. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 7.20.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    11. Pingback: Can Tea Party “Uni-Tea” Rally Bridge Divide (And Couldn’t They FInd A Better … – SodaHead News

    12. Christine, Oklahoma says:

      The OKC tea party encouraged me to "Wake up & pay attention" to what was REALLY going on in our country. It let me know locally, as well as nationwide, that we might have to fight for the rights that our Founders fought for 200+ years ago! WE ARE IN THE MAJORITY, PEOPLE! Let's just spread the word, and watch what media information we are watching. Liberal stations have an agenda!

      Guess what…….THEY LIE!

      Stand proud, do a little bit of homework before voting. Don't just vote for someone IN NAME ONLY……How do they compare with the other CONSERVATIVES?

      Be confident when you go into that voting booth November 2nd!

    13. Pingback: Race Distracting From Tea Party Message? – MyFox Philadelphia

    14. Pingback: Reclaiming America: Why We Honor the Tea Party Movement | The … | The Daily Conservative

    15. Pingback: How Many Pa. Voters Are With Tea Party? – MyFox Philadelphia

    16. Drew Page, IL says:

      The best thing about the Tea Party is that it is not a real political party. It's not run by a bunch of career politicians, who are trying to get elected to some office.

      Rather, it is a loose collection of people who are disgusted with government over spending, government arrogance and government interference into their daily lives.

      These are people who work for a living, or who want to work for a living and can't find a decent job. These are people who do not want to saddle their children and grandchildren with massive debt and even more massive taxes. these are people who understand that "The power to tax is the power to destroy". These are people who went to local townhall meetings to let their Congressmen and Senators know that they are angry about what is happening with health care, cap & trade, and illegal immigration. They were angry and got loud when their representatives tried to convince them they were over-reacting. That's what normal people do when they want to be heard and someone else isn't listening. These are people who got even more angry when their representatives (?) referred to them as anti-American, Nazis, racists, stooges for the Republican party and right-wing reactionaries. This coming from the representatives(?) that Tea Party goers put into office, whose salaries, benefits and pensions they pay for.

    17. Al Reasin says:

      I proudly share this award with other TEA partiers for my efforts since February 27, 2009; my first TEA Party

    18. Kevin Habib says:

      There is no coherent reason behind the Tea Party.

      If they were coherently upset about government spending that added to

      the deficit, they would have protested the Bush-era totally unfunded

      Medicare Part D program will cost taxpayers roughly $1 Trillion over the

      next decade. (That's $1 Trillion more than Obama's plan, which is fully

      paid for according to the CBO.) But they did not.

      If they were coherently upset about federal government power, they would

      have been out there protesting the Patriot Act, and the Bush admin's

      assertion that it could detain US citizens indefinitely without trial,

      or the fact that, as everyone now admits, we invaded another country for

      no reason. But they were not.

      It is revisionist and tone deaf to ignore the fact that while the

      "concentration of executive power" that the Tea Party is SUPPOSEDLY so

      upset about all happened under the previous administration, the Tea

      Party movement mushroomed only after Obama took office.

      If you want to argue that these folks would have been just as out of

      sorts if Hillary Clinton had been elected, you might have a point. But

      there is simply no ideological or principled defense of the Tea

      Partiers. It is 99.99% tribalism, which just so happens to come from the

      exact same people who argued that desegregation was tyranny.

    19. Pingback: Tea Party Movement « Newsbeat1

    20. Henry Kriegel, Bozem says:

      Great stuff and thank you for awarding the Tea Party movement. I used to rent offices in your building when I ran the Committee for a Free Afghanistan when we helped oust the Soviets.

      Curiously, I am wondering why the Bozeman Tea Party wasn't a recipient of the monographs. We draw huge numbers of people to our rallies and even took it to Obama's shock troops, union thugs and paid hacks when the President visited last August.

    21. Virginia m. Paiva Pr says:

      As an avid member of The Tea Party, I thank you most sincerely for this prestigeous award.

      I became involved as soon as I heard that there was going to be a rally at our state house to do something about the abusive government which,in my opinion, is trying to turn MY AMERICA into another Soviet Union.

      I come from a line of people who fought for the freedoms which I've enjoyed all my seventy five plus years. My great grandfather fought in the Union Army in the Civil War; My grandfather fought in WW1; My father and his brother were in WW2; My late husband was a 100% disabled veteran of the Korean War. My son served in the National Guard for many, many years, fortunately not having to be sent overseas, but his son returned from Iraq ln April of 2009.

      I cannot sit idly by while these radicals attempt to erase all that these great Americans suffered for. My age prohibits me from doing much physical participatation, but I do go to meetings when I am able, and distribute pertinent information that people might not hear because of the liberal media. And, I Pray!

      God bless the Heritage Society, and America'

      Virginia Paiva

    22. Carol Hawley says:

      I am most humbled and appreciative in receiving this award and thank the Heritage Foundation and all the dedicated people I have met this past year.

    23. Pingback: Why Does The Heritage Foundation Honor the Tea Party Movement? | Term Limits USA

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