When we think of the word “debate” we often visualize two or more people arguing with one another, with each side trying to convince the other of who is right and who is wrong. However, rarely does such a debate convince anyone to change their mind. During formal debates the arguments can be stated in a civil way, but informal debates often turn into shouting matches with both sides screaming and throwing invectives at one another.

The purpose of the Tea Party movement isn’t to have a debating society. What we want is to convince our lawmakers to vote the way we want them to, but to do that, we have to persuade them to see things our way. In some cases that will require changing people’s minds, but that doesn’t happen by yelling at them or engaging in name-calling. It’s done through the use of facts and well-reasoned logic.

When a lawmaker doesn’t vote as we want, then we have the opportunity to help elect someone else who will. However, for that to happen, we have to convince enough voters to agree with our position therefore our goal is to educate, not agitate.

To accomplish this we must not only know what it is we believe, but be able to clearly explain it to others. The media and many politicians have mischaracterized our position, either through ignorance or by design, so it is up to us to make our own case before the public. The other side is actively engaged in an all-out attempt to sway public opinion to their way of thinking. To defeat their efforts we must be equally engaged in swaying public opinion to our position. 

Some of the arguments used against us are based purely on emotion, but sometimes their logic can sound reasonable and appealing, especially to those who are not familiar with the principles of liberty. That is why we must become educated ourselves on these principles and then actively reach out to others to effectively educate them. It is only when a majority of Americans agree with our principles that we can then elect the kind of people who truly represent our views.