Giles Patriots inspiring local Tea Party group

Friday, February 11, 2011

Marshall County Tea Party members got inspiration from a neighboring county at the first of a series of Saturday morning meetings.

Bene Yant of the Giles Patriots addressed the group of 13 gathered in the upstairs room at First Commerce Bank on the bypass in Lewisburg.

The group's general discussion of national problems and proposals, included comments from Dave Friedrichs, Fred Fleischer, Dan Allen, and Wayne Coomes contributing their insights.

"We have to take part of the blame (for what's happening in Washington)," leader Sherry Ferguson said. "But we can change that. We have to let our representatives know we are watching everything they're doing."

Coomes agreed.

"We've violated the principal of 'trust but verify,'" he said, using Ronald Reagan's motto on how to get along with the Soviet Union.

Ferguson told the group that 54 percent of the elected representatives in Washington were lawyers, and jokingly exclaimed, "No wonder it's all screwed up!"

Again, Coomes agreed.

"Lawyers are terrible decision-makers," he said. "The more you compromise the further you get from the right answer."

"It," Ferguson concluded, "is a constant, every-day battle. We have to keep the pressure on."

Introducing Yant, Ferguson praised the few who made the effort to come out on a chilly wet morning, saying, "You are true patriots to come out on a day like this!"

Yant told the group how the Giles Patriots had been meeting monthly since November 2009. The first thing they did was planning a Constitution class that ended up with 70 participants.

"That kicked us off," she said.

On April 15, the Giles Patriots served tea to people filing their taxes that day.

During Pulaski's Fourth of July celebration, the Giles Patriots gave out copies of the Constitution. During Constitution Week (Sept. 17-23) they gave copies of the Constitution to all the American History students in Giles County high schools, and gave their teachers a DVD and a study guide to go with it.

In the run-up to last year's elections, the Patriots put together meet-and-greets with the candidates, and one or more candidates attended each of their meetings. In the fall, they organized a forum, or debate, for 65th District State House candidates Eddie Bass, Billy Spivey, and Ted Roop.

"Everybody appreciates you very much," Ferguson told Yant at the conclusion of her presentation.

Even though the election is over, Ferguson said, the Tea Party is still relevant, because "we still need to hold these people accountable."

One of the Tea Party's main ideas is a return to the spirit and letter of the Constitution.

"The founding fathers did not want to trample the people," Ferguson said. "We have to get back to that place."

The Marshall County Tea Party will meet again the first Saturday in March.