Letter: Is the Tea Party opposed to Democracy?


400-BUCKENMEYER-TERRYLetter: Is the Tea Party opposed to Democracy?

Terry Buckenmeyer
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor,

I am mentioned in a March 5th posting on the Saint Augustine Tea Party website regarding a recent “Awake the State” demonstration in support of expanded early voting hours.

In addition to numerous factual errors, I feel the article would lead educated readers to believe that the Tea Party is opposed to Democracy.

A Tea Party observer, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the following comment,

“The Constitution created a representative Republic, not a democracy. Nowhere in the Constitution is the word democracy mentioned. Individual rights are best protected in a Republic. Our founding fathers understood this. The histories of democracies are that they are short lived and end in tyranny. I think there are great philosophical differences, between the Tea Party and the people assembled here. There seems to be a collective process going on here, as expressed in the union style chanting.”

While I understand that the Tea Party has little interest in what terms actually mean, I would offer these definitions of the words “democracy” and “republic.”

Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter” (Latin: res publica), not the private concern or property of the rulers, and where offices of state are subsequently directly or indirectly elected or appointed rather than inherited. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch.

The Constitution does provide for representative democracy for white males. Later it was expanded by amendments to include non-whites and women. This last part is only true if you believe that the amendments after the first ten are constitutional.

As for factual errors:

I am not and never have been involved in organizing any “Awake the State” activities.

I am not a communist.

The “Feed the Homeless” project was a Community Picnic; held to protest the unwarranted withholding of Constitutional rights to people in the Plaza de la Constitucion. Very few, if any, homeless attended.

If you want to label me, try “anarcho-syndicalist”.

It’s probably scarier sounding than “communist”.

We believe in workplace democracy.

By the way, what is “union style chanting?”


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