That’s how long a peaceful yet consistently vocal organization of Americans has been fighting for our nation’s return to rational economic policy and limited government — as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.
It’s worth looking back to the first shot that started the grassroots revolution. Many people agree it began Feb. 19, 2009, on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where CNBC reporter Rick Santelli launched into a spontaneous but erudite rant on the Obama administration’s mortgage bailout proposal announced the previous day.
In what Santelli calls “professionally the best five minutes of my life,” he suggested the economic stimulus was “promoting bad behavior” by rewarding people in foreclosure for buying homes they knew they couldn’t afford at the height of the housing bubble instead of looking out for those who lived responsibly.
Santelli made a throwaway comment about having a tea party protest in Chicago, and with that, the movement coalesced around the patriotic theme. Within days, concerned citizens staged dozens of heavily-attended protests across the country.
Now here we are five years hence. The tea party’s members and ideas for turning America around have not gone away, though liberal mainstream media likely wish every day that they would.
It seems like every left-leaning talking head with access to a microphone has taken a slanderous shot at the tea party in the past five years. One CBS reporter even went as far as to compare good-hearted tea party patriots to the foot soldiers of radical Islam.
The latest roundup of Sunday-morning TV talk shows barely sniffed at the tea party’s anniversary.
CBS didn’t mention the anniversary at all. National Public Radio missed acknowledging the anniversary, even though it made sure to acknowledge the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street in 2012.
You remember Occupy. You might better recall its protesters’ recurrent chaos and lawlessness than the fizzling movement’s actual warped views on social and economic inequality.
But the tea party, now five years old, still is standing for meaningful issues and fighting for our country’s future.
And it’s always looking for new recruits.