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Frustration evident in Tea Party
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Forsyth County News
Some 200 people in Cumming on Thursday did what thousands of others were doing across the nation — protesting the direction being taken by the federal government in rallies and demonstrations.

From Sacremento to Washington, D.C., crowds large and small, some numbering in the thousands, took to the streets with complaints about a federal government they feel has lost its purpose, direction and soul.

The Tea Party movement has been steadily picking up momentum over the past year, and the federal health care legislation and insurance mandate recently appproved by the Congress and signed by the president added ample fuel to a a fire that already burned white hot.

So what does it all mean? At this point it’s impossible to say.

Whether the movement can really have an impact on upcoming elections and the future direction of the country will depend on the streamlining of its message. So far the big picture complaint that government is too big and intrusive has been used as a rallying cry for change, but a more focused complaint and a specific remedy will be needed to build political momentum.

At this stage, the movement is identified by what it is against. For it to grow there needs to be some indication of what it is for.

That said, the momentum already gained by the Tea Party effort is indicative of one harsh reality that those in power in Washington seem determined to ignore — there is a tidal wave of frustration washing across the land, one that leaves good, honest Americans feeling as though they have been disenfranchised by the national leadership of their country.

Whether that frustation can be channeled into political change remains to be seen. The nation has, in the past, witnessed the impact of impassioned grassroots effort aimed at political change, such as the anti-war protests directed at American involvement in Vietnam, and the growth of a national environmental movement over the past four decades.

Whether the Tea Party effort can sustain momentum and build the numbers needed to force change won’t be known for months, perhaps years.

Regardless, we should take satisfaction in the fact that our nation is one that allows public demonstrations and protests and encourages freedom of speech.

At least for now.