On Saturday April 17, Dana Loesch, Paul Curtman, and I spoke at the Branson, Missouri Tea Party.  Eric Farris invited us two months ago, and after being involved with this event, I think I see his vision without him telling me what it is.   By bringing us to his beautiful city, and allowing us to see the great community that the people of Branson have created, he has created a bond between the St. Louis School and the Branson movement.   The people of this of town reflect the America that the Tea Party is working to preserve. 

When I say preserve, I mean that we are still have a great nation, and American has not been lost yet.  We hear many say “American has been ruined” and “Our liberties and freedom are gone.”   Sure, it is important to take these problems seriously.  But the state of  affairs is not just determined by what people do in Washington.  The people have to actively work to make their world what they want it to be. 

When we arrived in Branson, we immediately noticed that things were different here.  You saw a lot of American flags, and many of the stores had names like “God and Country”.  We went to dinner with the Matt Grindstaff, the pastor who gave the prayer to start the Tea Party.  He informed me that Branson still had prayer in schools, and “here in Branson, it is still in vogue to be Christian.” 

That struck me, because we are inundated with stories of how the Christianity is under attack from the Left.  But we don’t get to hear enough about places like Branson, where the people were able to retain the values and practices that they believe in.   They, and other people throughout the nation are successfully resisting the Pelosi Cabal’s version of “transformation”.   

When Laura Roth, national radio host, interviewed country singer Clay Cooper, he said ” Branson is a conservative, family oriented town.”    A woman who was friends with Eric said “We do not need the Tea Party in Oklahoma, it is conservative everywhere.”  Another woman from Oklahoma said “well, the governor is a Democrat., because of the direction that the people have taken the state, must still operate as Democratic governor has to recognize this fact.   “We like it there,” she added.

Branson and the accounts of my new friends from Oklahoma were a microcosm of the real story.  Even tough Team Obama has hit us with an authoritarian, punitive agenda, we have kept this nation from collapsing, as it could have.   Supporters of the Stimulus Package keep saying that “it saved us from the Great Depression.”

I see that it was the people who saved us from the Great Depression II.  Instead of always talking about all the bad things liberals and progressives say about conservatives, why not  through in a few stories about people like the ones in Branson.  So far, they have been able to control their destiny, that is the story of the American Experience. 


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    As opposed to what Jay? The st louis tea party nor the jeffco tea party which I organized are no longer grassroots organizations because you and the Hillbilly’s were upset about some candidates speaking at my event. I was specifically amused by the statement people were leaving because they did not like who was speaking. That’s amazing as every piece of marketing I sent out, including when Dana had me on the show Three days before the rally, I mentioned all the speakers and who they were and what they were running for. Then you accused me of bashing Roy Blunt for 10 minutes. I spent about 1 minute talking about Roy blunt and another couple of minutes leading up to that explaining how the Republicans had walked away from being fiscal conservatives during the last 10 years. You also forgot to mention that before I said anything about Blunt I stated that I was only speaking for myself and not anyone else or anyone in the tea party movement. With the exception of Edward Crim, the Democrat running against Russ Carnahan, every one who spoke I invited, because they agree with the tea party movement on the majority of issues. By the way I believe Paul Curtman spoke at the Branson rally, and I believe he is a Republican running for political office, so why the double standard? Why didn’t you distance yourself from that rally? I’m sure no one in Branson wanted to hear what a politician has to say.


    • April 27, 2010 at 3:28 am

      Ken, I don’t have a stake in your remainder of your above comments but I wanted to address the issues related to the Branson Tea Party which was the subject of this blog post. I am the Director of the Branson Tea Party Coalition, which is composed of a grassroots group of a 12 person steering committee which is dedicating to educating and motivating voters to further our core goals of constitutionally-limited government, free markets and fiscal responsibility.

      We had a great Tea Party Rally on April 17th with over 1800 in attendance from Missouri and 15 other states. In addition to the Rally, the nationally syndicated radio show “The Roth Show” carried the event live to an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 listeners on 65 radio stations across the country. We combined great musical entertainment live from the stages of Branson together with powerful and dynamic speakers, Paul Curtman, Jay Stewart and Dana Loesch. Together with these speakers and entertainers, we were joined by Tea Party Patriots Andy Williams and Deana Martin (Dean Martin’s daughter) who also raised their conservative voices. The most amazing aspect of the day was that 80% of the audience held up their hands that this was the first tea party that they attended in spite of the fact that this was the third tea party rally that the BTPC had held in Branson in the last year.

      Different tea party organizations have ran their events differently. These approaches can be as varied as the worship services which occur on Sundays in a variety of denominations. Some organizations invite only elected leaders and/or candidates while some do not allow politicians to take the stage. Our organization does not allow any elected politician or candidate for office who would be on the ballot in Southern Missouri to be on the stage. This allows us the discretion to host an elected leader or a candidate from out of the area if that person would have a compelling message for the audience.

      Our last event in November, 2009 included Paul Curtman, who is a fiery and extremely informative speaker who is one of the most versed speakers on the Constitution and how our elected leaders failed failed to uphold the Constitution. Paul was extremely well received and so we invited him back for our event on April 17th. Although Paul is running for State Representative in the 105th District, we choose to have him back as a speaker since he is not a candidate on the ballot in Southern Missouri and because so, so many specifically asked that he return for an encore performance.

      Jay’s compliments about our vision and his compliments about my hometown of Branson are very much appreciated. The BTPC does want to continue to network with other tea party organizations throughout the state and we appreciate our newfound friendship and affinity with our friends in St. Louis and we would also welcome that same relationship with other groups whether located in Jefferson County, Franklin County or Kansas City, by way of example.


      Eric Farris

      P.S. Ken, you may recognize my name from the blog posts that Dana Loesch posted on her blog about my confrontation through email with Rep. Roorda to demand his apology for referring to you and I and millions of others in the tea party movement as “teabaggers” on the floor of the Missouri House. I hope that Jefferson County is ready for “change” come November.

      • J Michael
        April 27, 2010 at 4:24 am

        Great commentary Eric!

    • J Michael
      April 27, 2010 at 4:27 am

      Ken, thanks for capitalizing “Hillbilly’s”

  2. J Michael
    April 27, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Geez, I moved to Branson area 11 years ago from the Chicago area as many “northerners have.” If living here makes me a hillbilly, as McDonalds slogan goes: “I’m Lovin it!”

    Hey Jay, so glad you were here in Branson! You are insightful and invigorating.

    Your bass playin friend Mike.

  3. April 27, 2010 at 4:14 am

    “The people of this of town reflect the America that the Tea Party is working to preserve.” Amen, Jay. When I moved to this area just before Christmas from the Chicago suburbs, I told my family that Branson was the last bastion of American conservatism. How refreshing it is to know I’m not alone. Plus, let me add what a pleasure it was meeting you! I thoroughly enjoyed your contributions and hope you enjoy the t-shirt! As far as Paul Curtman’s presence in Branson, he’s not running for an office in our district therefore he was not here as a politician.

  4. April 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    You guys are missing the point of my post. Jay went on Jamie Allmans show here in St Louis last week with a couple of guys that host an internet radio show called “Hillbilly Logic” and criticized the rally we had April 10th because we had some candidates for local office speak, along with Dana Loesch, myself, and Bill Hennessy. As Eric correctly stated, tea parties all have different opinions to how best reach our end goal, which is a more conservative government. Since we currently have a two party system, I believe we have to support and work for candidates that agree with the tea party movement on most issues. Some don’t believe we should let any politician speak at a rally. So I wasn’t taking exception to Paul Curtman speaking at the Branson rally, I was pointing out the double standard I felt Jay was presenting. Once again, I believe every leader of a tea party should do whatever they feel is going to work best in their area.

  5. Annette
    April 28, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Ken, you did a great job organizing that tea party, and no one believes you didn’t – it’s a LOT of work to put something like that together, people have no idea. And to do a good job, even more work. There are/were only differences of opinion, and some statements got blown out of proportion. The perceived hate just wasn’t there, and I heard absolutely no criticism of you. Had you *not* had politicians there, some wouldn’t have liked that decision either! It’s too bad we can’t charge all the armchair quarterbacks for their “advice,” because my piggy bank isn’t nearly as noisy as it used to be. My personal choice for speakers is not politicians either, not a big deal — I’d rather hear from someone like you, and you did not disappoint.

  6. Pam Cantrell
    June 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Since our Branson Tea Party I have intented to go to your Website and thank you for your excellent talk. Our group in Branson are indeed a fine group of people and we have a lovely community. I was recently corrected by an elderly man in an elevator who’s son was a local medical professional – “I am NOT an African American, my family has been in this country over 200 years – I am an American who happens to be black.” He was one of those men that when he spoke you would be a fool not to listen to. You reminded me of that old gentleman. It is time we got beyond some of the ideas that separate people, I know there must be many Americans who “happen to be black” that are just as concerned as I am about the way the country is going. Hopefully, you will be an influence to those that may be uncomfortable at the Tea Party rallies to know that we are all on the same side and race has nothing to do with it despite what some in the media would like to people to believe. We need to make all our voices heard in NOV. Thanks again.

  7. Firesign58
    July 20, 2010 at 2:05 am

    As someone totally unaware of the politics going on underneath, I thought the post was charming.

  8. July 23, 2010 at 12:21 am

    It’s hard to believe that event was already three months ago today. Your and Paul Curtman’s speeches are still vivid memories; and are hosted on Youtube as well, so your words will never be forgotten. Thank you for inspiring this member of the local youth.

    Branson, even with the tourism and ridiculous local government, is a beautiful place.

    • July 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you Backlin. I was inpsired by all of you as well!

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