The nationally known tea party movement has grown in both favor and contempt as it nabs headlines across the country. Locally, Bartow County's second tea party event is scheduled to take place Saturday at Dellinger Park from 6 to 9 p.m.
Organizers of this event note that though their ideals and mission are in line with the North Georgia Tea Party held in September, they are not directly associated with one another. The Cartersville Tea Party is aimed at the concerns associated with current government actions.
"I think the overall goal of the tea party is to re-establish conservatism in our government or at least to have the conservative voice heard," said Michael Swartz, emcee for the Cartersville Tea Party. "I think it will offer a hope or a feeling that the conservative beliefs that established this country are still alive and that even though these may be tough times, the ingenuity and the tenacity of the American citizen will get us through it."
Big government and authorities overreaching their constitutional bounds appears to be the motivating factor for the formation of tea parties throughout America. Other items of interest that will be discussed at the Cartersville Tea Party include balancing the budget, abortion and national defense.
"If we keep sending the same people back to Washington [D.C.] we'll get the same results," said Doug Cochran, event organizer. "There's not much difference between the values of people in different regions of the country. We all believe in freedom and liberty and justice but we just let the government get too big."
Speaking on the key issues will be Bob Poston on national defense, Ken Frasier on balancing the budget and Carolyn Garcia for pro-life. Preceding the featured speakers will be Suzanne Hogan singing the national anthem. April Wehunt will perform patriotic songs between speakers.
"The guest speakers are going to speak about the things that are of real concern to the majority of the American public today. Even though the House and the Senate and the executive branch are held by Democrats at this time, according to recent polls, the conservative values are still the majority in this country," Swartz said.
The studies referred to by Swartz are those such as the 2009 Gallup poll that found 40 percent of Americans considered themselves conservative, 36 percent were moderate and only 20 percent described their political views as liberal.
Strategically set for the Saturday before voter registration ends on Monday, organizers of the Cartersville Tea Party stress the importance of exercising your right to vote. To help enable election participation, representatives will be available at the event to help residents register to vote.
"We're trying to educate the voters that every candidate has certain interests or issues that he or she will support and they are supposed to support the issues of their constituents but they don't," Cochran said. "We want people to simply know that they can expect certain things from their representatives and we should expect and we should communicate with them what it is we want."
A hope of the tea party movement is to fully utilize term limits and vote out incumbents they feel have not well represented their constituents. Swartz commented on the power of an educated people when they vote.
"My desire is to make sure that the government, the elected government officials, realize that they have been placed in a position of trust by American citizens and that once they gain that position of trust they are not allowed to do whatever they want -- they still represent the people and we want them to know that. We want them to know that if we put you in office we expect you to represent us because this is a government of the people," Swartz said.
On a national stage, the tea party has been met with mixed reviews from the public. Swartz and others involved with the Cartersville Tea Party feel that the mission transcends political party and focuses on conservative ideals. What organizers see as misunderstanding has resulted in national debates against the movement and locally with the removal of yard signs promoting the event said one local advocate.
"The tea party movement wants to be positive," Swartz said. "That's what all of this is about. We want to lift the spirits of everyone involved in the democratic process."
For more information on the event, call Cochran at 770-382-0684 or 770-655-3478.