- - Sunday, April 19, 2015

On Tax Day 2009, millions of Americans took to the streets in what was the largest of the Tea Party rallies. Huge rallies were held in Atlanta, San Antonio and Nashville, just to name a few places.

The Tea Party movement sprang into existence in February 2009. The spark was the famous Rick Santelli rant that took place on Feb. 18, 2009. With in a couple of days, activists from across the country were on conference calls planning the first Tea Party rallies.

I know something about that because I was a part of that group of activists that helped launch the Tea Party movement.

The movement staged large rallies. Then the movement helped sweep Republicans back into control of the House of Representatives in 2010. The Tea Party has had a number of huge victories and a number of defeats.

When the movement began, a friend asked me how long this movement would last. I told them the Tea Party movement itself would last five to seven years. Today the movement is 6 years old. In 2016, the movement will be 7 years old and that will be the defining year for the Tea Party movement.

In 2016 the Tea Party will be at a crossroads. As an organic group, the Tea Party will have two choices and those choices will be dictated by events in the Republican Party. While some of the Tea Party has become institutionalized, the organic Tea Party will either fade away or become a new political party.

In 2009, there was a consensus among the activists who helped launch the movement that we did not want the movement to become a new political party. No one tried to turn the Tea Party into a new political party.

That could change.

In 2016, the Republican Party has a stark choice. It can nominate an establishment figure who favors amnesty, big spending and the policies of the Chamber of Commerce or it can nominate someone who stands for the values of real Americans. The GOP can nominate someone who wants to end amnesty, cut spending and end the lawlessness of the Obama regime.

If the Republican Party establishment wins and Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or one of the other moderate Republicans wins, the Tea Party will form the nucleus of a new political party.

Most of the activists who helped launch the Tea Party had some historic ties to the Republican Party. If the 2016 nominee is someone like Ted Cruz, the Tea Party movement will have served its purpose and will fade back into the greater conservative movement.

2016 will be a year that changes America. Either real Americans are able to take the Republican Party and the nation back, or America goes the way of other formerly great nations.

In 2016, either the Tea Party will lead a conservative Republican to victory or there will be a new political party on the scene.

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