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I’ve been registered to vote since the early 1980’s. I take pride in the fact that I looked up to Ronald Reagan and his conservative principles. I am, at heart, a conservative. My interest in politics waned over the years but, since this last election, I’ve become more interested in politics and where we are as a nation. I’ve also become more interested in the history of our country. As a country, we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been.

Which brings me to the Constitution. This document is the foundation for the government that we have today. All laws have their basis in the Constitution. The form of government that was intended by the Founding Fathers can be found within this document. You really should read it because it is amazing.

How does all of this tie to the Tea Party movement? Look at the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. It reads as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

As a republic, we enjoy freedom of speech. Of course, you can’ t yell fire in a crowded movie theater but you can express your dissatisfaction with your government and its policies. This, as I have read, is the highest form of patritotism.

The Tea Party movement is a group of people doing just that: exercising their rights of free speech and assembly to express their dissatisfaction  They, along with many other Americans, are dissatisfied with the current state of our country and the direction it is headed.

What bothers me is when opponents to the Tea Party movement are trying to subdue them and, for lack of a better word (or phrase) want them to ‘shut up.’ While I agree with their right to express their feelings towards the Tea Party movement, I don’t agree with their methods. We have every right to speak and, God willing, we will be heard. We will not be silent observers as our country is dismantled from the inside and turned into something that I will no longer recognize.

Opponents of the Tea Party movement are more than welcome to express their opinions and engage us in honest open debate of the issue but don’t tell me to shut up. That is not part of the First Amendment.

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