Nearly 90 people jammed the Westport Library’s McManus Room for last night’s 1st Westport Tea meeting.
But anyone looking for red meat was disappointed. Organizer Dean Slack served up mostly appetizers.
The 10-year Westporter — a self-described businessperson with no previous experience in politics — returned over and over to 3 main themes:
We need officers. We need volunteers. We need money.
Westport Tea, he emphasized, is a non-profit association. It’s not a political party, or a “Tea Party PAC.” Westport Tea is a social organization that educates voters.
Some of the crowd stirred when Slack touched on Westport Tea’s 3 main principles: fiscal responsibility, limited government and capitalism. They wanted to vent about everything wrong with America today — I guess that would be fiscal irresponsibility, intrusive government, and socialism.
But Slack wasn’t going there. He returned again and again to the need for officers, volunteers and money.
If the 1773 Tea Party organizing committee held meetings like last night’s, Westporters today would be hoping England wins the World Cup.
Slack differentiated Westport Tea from the national movement of a similar name. “This is not the fanatical Tea Party thing you see on TV,” he said.
That led to a brief discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the TP name. They’re both about the same things, Slack said — “less government, less taxes, free markets, an emphasis on the Constitution” — but then it was back to the need for officers and volunteers.
“Democracy,” Slack said, “is not free.”
It was not Paul Revere.
It was not Rand Paul.
It was not Ayn Rand.
It was Tea time, Westport-style.
(For more information on Westport Tea, call Dean Slack at 203-226-2619, or email: WestportTea@gmail.com.)