Tea Party Members Urge Local Involvement
According to Clarke Forum Project Manager Andrew Guy ’12, it was decided to bring Puig and Przybylski to campus to foster an understanding about this influential political movement. “We wanted to start a conversation about the structure, ideology and influence of the Tea Party,” commented Guy.
Puig and Przybylski spent the first 20 minutes describing their background and how they became involved with the Tea Party. Przybylski explained that she had become concerned with how the country would be run when Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, and decided to do something about it after he passed the single largest stimulus package in the history of the United States. In April 2009, Przybylski held a “roast the pork” rally where she read aloud the stimulus package’s “pork,” the government funding for unrelated projects.
Puig emigrated from Brazil with her family at age 14, looking for the “American Dream”—which she believes she has found. Puig is concerned that people are ignoring the issues this country is facing: she called the new nationalized health system an atrocity. Remembering what she had told her husband before she joined the Tea Party, want, but I’m going to do something about it.”
Together, Puig and Przybylski have been working with Freedom Works, an organization dedicated to traveling around Penn. to recruit, educate, train and mobilize volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes and more freedom. Przybylski stated, “If you don’t get involved, you have no right to complain.”
The co-chairs shared what they call “the first” five things they want people to do to advance the country’s politics: fundraising, protests and rallies, educating people, citizen lobbying and getting out to vote. Puig claimed, “We’re making a difference for Pennsylvania. We’re making a difference for our country.”
The co-chairs spent the remainder of the lecture answering questions from the audience. Both Dickinson students and Carlisle residents were very engaged during the question and answer session. “I think the speakers did a great job explaining the impact of the Tea Party, and what relationship the Tea Party has with the current Republican Party, particularly in Pennsylvania. Student asked great, provocative questions and both speakers gave direct, interesting answers, allowing for a very productive and respectful discussion,” noted Guy.
When asked their thoughts on potential GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Puig replied, “Mitt Romney is not my candidate, but anyone is better than the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Although they noted that they are disappointed with the pool of candidates for the Republican Party, they seemed pleased that the media has been focusing on the Republican Candidates and not on Obama. David Taboh ’15, a student in attendance at the lecture, commented, “It’s really interesting for me to see how they think and their outrage over the election of Barack Obama.”