Obviously, this blog is dedicated to defending the Constitution of the United States of America. It is something that I have been trying to do, in one way or another, since I was a junior in high school, 46 years ago. During that time I have been awed and inspired by those much more learned than I am who stood up and defended what I consider to be one of the greatest documents ever written. In the beginning, even those on the other side of the political spectrum believed resolutely that the Constitution was the heart and soul of our great country.

            I can remember on Wednesday afternoons going to free-speech alley at LSU and as president of the Young Republicans on the campus getting into heated arguments with my counterpart, the president of the LSU Young Democrats. We had different views on many issues, and were not afraid to express them, but the one thing that was constant for both of us was that we loved our country and the Constitution. Often, after our fierce debates, the two of us retired to the student union to have a beer or two. The fact is, we were friends and respected each other, and we considered each other patriots.

            Unfortunately, that type of civility has disappeared in our country today. Thanks to the far left progressives in our government, in our news media, our institutions of higher learning, and in the entertainment industry, to name but a few, patriotism has become a dirty word. Those who love America and express that fact are viciously attacked, and repeated attempts are made to silence them. None of us who are defenders of the Constitution are immune from such attacks, but one group in particular has been singled out. I am referring to the tea party movement, and its members around the country.

            Simply because they have stepped forward to take a stand for what they believe, they are being castigated as racists, extremists, and lunatics. They're being blamed for inciting acts of violence even when those acts are committed by individuals who have no connection with the tea party and in fact, have beliefs that are the opposite of those expressed by the tea party. Some left-wing commentators in the media are almost foaming at the mouth as they hurl insults at their fellow Americans who dare to disagree with them.

            At the same time, President Obama, and members of his administration are blaming tea party members for many of his own failures as president. That is, when he is not blaming the tsunami in Japan, the economic crisis in Europe, ATMs, or President George W. Bush. Left-wingers in Congress tell tea party members to go to hell, and accuse them of wanting to have blacks lynched at the nearest tree, while members of labor unions declare war on them and make not so vague threats. At the same time, the liberal elitists in Hollywood and on university campuses openly call for the tea party to be kept from using their First Amendment rights to express themselves.

            So who are these terrible individuals and groups that are considered such a threat by progressives? Well, I have spoken to tea party groups and worked with them, and I found them to be ordinary Americans who come from varied backgrounds, varied economic situations, and all of the racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds that make up this melting pot that is America.  They are professionals, small business owners, housewives, military veterans, and students who are united in their belief in the Constitution and the United States of America. In other words, they are patriots.

            They believe in what our founders believed in, a limited government, maximum individual liberties, the right of the states to govern without undue burdens being placed on them by the federal government, and a robust free-market economy. They do not believe that socialism, communism, or any form of fascism is the inevitable wave of the future for the people of this country, and they are prepared to speak up and resist those who do. Many of them carry a copy of the Constitution with them wherever they go.

            They are the same men who over 230 years ago would have stood shoulder to shoulder at Bunker Hill to beat back the British onslaught. They're the same women who would have torn up their own clothes to make bandages for our wounded warriors, and who would have sewed the flags that were proudly carried into battle. They are the same people who sacrificed so much so that tyranny could be defeated, and a new and vibrant free country could be formed.

            In fact, only between 40 and 45% of the colonists supported the American Revolution while 15 to 20% supported the King of Britain. The remainder tried to avoid taking sides and many of these continued to do business with both sides. Yet, the rebels were successful, and a new nation was born. Now, we have a new group of patriots standing up for America, and I'm proud to say that I stand with them.

            Yet, unfortunately, the vicious assault on them seems to be having some effect. Support for the tea party movement seems to be diminishing, at least according to some polls. Of course, I have little trust in many of the public opinion polls being taken today, but that doesn't really matter. To the members of the tea party I say this; you are the present-day embodiment of the men and women who forged this great nation. Do not give up the fight, you're not alone. I am proud to call many of you my friends, and I'm proud to stand with you in defense of our Constitution.

            I may not always agree with you on every occasion, but that is what has made America great in the past. We again need to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. My fellow Americans should understand that those who support the tea party movement are fighting for us and deserve our respect, admiration, and support. All of us who believe in freedom must stand tall, stand together, and be resolute in our defense of the Constitution and our way of life. At the same time, those who would destroy our nation must be made aware that we will not let them win. God bless America!

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