Brewing up solutions
April 07, 2010
One Tea Party patriot wants to stir the pot a little.
LEFT: As a member Tea Party, Kathy Johnson takes a firm stance that politics on all levels need work to secure our American freedoms. CITIZEN PHOTO / HOPE STRONG
It would be a gross generalization to suggest that successful realtors fly below the radar when it comes to politics, religion or really anything that would alienate them from potential clients. But it does happen.
Kathy Johnson admits that she had always avoided voicing her opinion openly on controversial topics in the past, but the current presidential administration has her scared enough to stand up and be counted as a Tea Party Patriot, dedicated to addressing excessive government spending and taxation by securing public policy that promotes free markets, fiscal responsibility and Constitutionally limiting the government on all levels.
“I think all Americans need to stand up and find out what’s going on,” Johnson said with reference to universal health care. “Health care is a privilege. It is not a right, but it’s not only about health care. This is about the power of government to limit our choices; it’s about the insatiable appetite of the government.”
Johnson pulls a tome from her library and feels the heft of it in her hand. Entitled The Real George Washington
, Johnson credits the work with helping her to understand the audacity of the Revolutionary War, as well as the brilliance of the United States Constitution.
She believes that the key to understanding the miracle of America lies in a close study of this nation’s founding fathers, what they believed and how they lived their lives. Freedoms enjoyed by all Americans, Johnson believes, were not won without great sacrifice.
“I am afraid for the future of this country. It’s way out of our comfort level to look like activists,” Johnson said of herself and her fellow Tea Party Patriots. “But to sit back and do nothing is torturous. We need to work with our neighbors.”
In an effort to clean house on the federal level, Johnson believes that state and local levels of government need to be addressed. Vetting the best candidates in the primary elections is the obvious first step in a redirection for America.
“We want to try and educate people,” Johnson said. “I know politics is overwhelming, but we’re hoping to provide resources. I’d like to find out where people are politically. Let’s go and talk about it. Let’s start there. It may take some searching to find the truth.”
While Johnson is the Tea Party coordinator in Teton Valley that spearheaded an effort to get more people involved by hosting a potluck dinner next Thursday, April 15, in Driggs, she also encourages anyone with questions about the party to give her a call and meet to discuss ideas. Her cell phone number is 208-313-7123.
“There’s no face to the Tea Party. We’re all just people who understand the Constitution and what is stands for,” Johnson said. “We need to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable. There’s too much corruption and not enough to limit terms of politicians. We hope to form committees to weed out the weak candidates and support the strong ones in an effort to reduce government spending. Our government is going in the wrong direction. We need to address that.”
Johnson has joined many other Tea Party Patriots in the belief there are two roads ahead for America. We could fall into a socialist society and incur more debt, or America can rise up peacefully and eliminate big government.
“A lot of our society is plugged into the matrix of Hollywood, iPods and other distractions,” Johnson said. "The history of the world is filled with tyranny and dictatorships. To believe we’ll be a free society forever is short-sighted.”
Johnson does not get worked up into a lather when she talks about her political convictions. Her heart rate does not increase and she keeps and even tone and volume when discussing the need to redirect government through the democratic process.
“Obama said he would fundamentally transform America, and he’s doing it,” Johnson said. “Even without Obamacare [the recently-passed health care legislation], we had problems, but I think this country is worth fighting for. Otherwise, our rights will slowly be taken away and we will regress back into mediocrity and future generations might not even know the opportunities we once had. Progression toward a centralized government is happening very fast. Today the federal government has more power than state governments. Living here in the frontier states isn’t going to protect our liberties any more.”
While early American colonists once dumped British tea into the Boston harbor to protest taxation without representation, Johnson and other Tea Party Patriots will start with a potluck supper, an opportunity to gather peacefully to discuss politics.
Teton Valley Tea Party Patriots plan to meet at First American Title Company on Main Street in Driggs on Thursday April 15 at 5 p.m. A cordial invitation is extended to anyone wishing to learn more.NominateValley Citizen of the Month for March, Eva Dahlgren, received a night’s lodging at the Teton Springs Lodge and Spa.
Citizen staff will choose an individual or group each month highlighting exceptional work or character based on your nominations. Teton Springs Lodge and Spa will recognize the Citizen of the Month with a similar gift from the resort. Please send your April nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-354-NEWS.