Op-Ed

No one should take Ky. Tea Party vote for granted

By Mica Sims

What is the Tea Party going to do?

I've been asked this question over and over this past week after Senate President David L. Williams narrowly took the Republican nomination for Kentucky governor.

What is the Tea Party going to do? Who will its members support? Are they going to throw their support blindly behind Williams and hope for the best?

The media is asking the wrong question. The question is: What are the candidates going to do?

The Tea Party voters are now the most sought-after group of voters in Kentucky. The energy is obviously behind the grass roots. We did so much with so little that I think every campaign wants to know how to get that kind of energy behind their candidate.

A friend of mine passed out a card at the Republican "Unity Rally" on Saturday.

It read: "Grass roots are unified around the principles of individual liberty and limited, accountable government, not candidates or politicians. 'Party unity' is not possible when party candidates and politicians violate these principles."

Grassroots support the ideas of true Republicanism, not unprincipled career politicians who violate our rights, who spend tax money recklessly and who created the many crises before us here in Kentucky.

The Tea Party is unified. We unite behind ideas and principles. If the Tea Party decides to blindly throw its support behind a candidate, then what have we accomplished? What have we stood for?

The Tea Party should refuse to be just another arm of the very party that has in many senses been a faction to the very crisis we are in.

The Tea Party for several years now has worked to create a brand. We have an opportunity in front of us to solidify that brand or to weaken it.

Sure, we could allow Williams to be a part of the Tea Party and double our numbers by a few. But why should we weaken our brand that we strived to create to include more people for only a short-term gain?

Does anyone truly believe that Williams understands and believes in the principles of the Tea Party? He's had 25 years to prove me wrong. I doubt he can make that up in just a few months with idle lip service to the Tea Party.

I personally am going to sit back, grab some popcorn and watch what these candidates do in the next couple of months while they attempt to harness Tea Party support. I think it'll be fun to watch them scramble and try to figure out what the Tea Party is energized about.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Williams have such a jaded past of big-government policies and out-of-control spending that this is going to be nothing short of fun.

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