Ryan’s Story of 2009

by Ryan on December 30, 2009

in Anything Else,Economy,Election 2010,Health Care,Politics

When the history books are written about 2009, what will they say?  What will I be teaching my students about this year in ten years or so?  I haven’t got a clue. You can’t anticipate what’s going to be historically important while it’s happening, with the exception of 9/11-type events.  But even then, its impact is unclear at the time.

Of the thousands of stories which came and went or dominated this year, I’d have to personally tip my hat to the rise of the Tea Party Movement culminating in August’s nationwide Town Hall citizen revolt, which was like having a political Christmas everyday!  Of course, I’m biased here since I was a citizen foot-soldier this year attending a few tea parties here and there, writing my Senators and Congressman frequently of my discontent, and influencing a few fence-sitters in my life.

Over the weekend I touched-base with an old friend from college.  Amongst other things, I told him I was part of the Tea Party Movement.  He didn’t know what that meant so I told him:  if you’re upset at the recklessness and unresponsive nature of our elected officials and believe that government is causing more problems than it is solving, then grab your Gadsden flag (seen above) and join the march!  I may not have converted him in that conversation, but he (not exactly William F. Buckley on the political spectrum) wasn’t offended either.

Ultimately, the Tea Party Movement is a conservative movement; one which did not start in 2009 and won’t end in 2010 (remember that the Republicans messed things up too!).  Heck, even Ross Perot’s 19% popular vote showing in 1992 was mostly due to Perot’s anti-deficit language.  This movement has been brewing for nearly two decades.  What happened in 2009 is that we reached a threshold, over which the concerned citizenry could no longer sit still and watch our functionaries mortgage our future on antiquated social experiments (public-option health care reform) or obtuse political payoffs (the stimulus), especially after the late 2008 TARP bailout, which left everybody feeling a little bit sick inside.

So, my favorite social and political story of 2009 is the grassroots Tea Party Movement.  Good people, concerned citizens, fun like-minded omni-partisan group interested in keeping the American government in its place.  To paraphrase Mark Steyn filling in for Rush yesterday:  while the rest of the world was screaming this year for their governments to do more for them, Americans were in the streets and at Town Halls telling the government to back-off!  There’s always “hope,” but this year we began “action.”

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