They've heard, time and again, the characterizations in the news media, from some Democrats and, in certain cases, from their own friends and relatives -- about how "those tea party-ers" are just angry voters venting about economic hard times, or they're confused, uneducated and easily influenced, or they're extremists, or, worst of all, they're racists. Months after Searchlight and other rallies, plenty of questions remain about just what the tea party is, whether it can endure and how much influence it will have on elections this year and in years to come. Part of the answer is this: In communities across the land, citizens-turned-activists are digging in in different ways to wield whatever power and influence they're able to muster over this thing called democracy. To hear what motivates them is to begin to understand what's going on in American politics in 2010.
From Michael Silence