The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Barely legal voters party with Tea crowd in Washington

Scattered among the hundreds of Tea Party activists rallying in Washington Thursday was a small but vocal group of young people. Though a recent poll by CBS News and the New York Times says young activists make up less than 25 percent of the movement, they are by no means a quiet minority.

“We don’t like that the government is trying to put more and more control on the people,” said Megan Lally, an 18-year-old high school senior from Virginia. “We need to go back to the way our founding fathers intended it.”

Lally skipped school with her friend and fellow senior Andrew McKellis to come to the rally. Both are barely old enough to vote and until now rallies, protests and school organizations were their only way to get involved.

“I feel like my vote is going to be important,” McKellis said. “If you’re not going to take the time to go out and represent your voice then you can’t complain about when the people in office are doing things you don’t agree with.”

Rachel Ward, 16, won’t be able to vote in 2010 and is thankful for it. She hasn’t made up her mind yet where she stands politically but her mom let her come to the rally to help her figure it out.

“I thought originally I was more Democratic,” she said. “I’m kind of leaning back this way. People are standing up and they’re saying this isn’t right and this isn’t the way the country was supposed to be.”

Like many of the other young people in the crowd, Ward is still working through where politics fit into her life. She hasn’t identified what issues are the most important to her; she just recognizes the power of people expressing their beliefs so vocally.

While the crowds grew in Freedom Plaza, a smaller group of Tea Party supporters was steps away at the Liberty Summit, organized by several conservative organizations to focus on issue advocacy and grassroots campaigns.
Though the people who filled the auditorium seats were mostly older, many of those who made the event happen were under the age of 35. Rob Jordan of FreedomWorks is not only the vice president of federal and state campaigns for the Libertarian advocacy group, he is 34.

“I saw Citizens for a Sound Economy [another Libertarian group] doing lot of things I saw the left doing,” Jordan said. “But they were doing them on the right in terms of issue advocacy and I wanted to get involved with them,” Jordan said.

The strong emphasis on grassroots organizing and campaigning by Tea Party supporters has been attractive for many young conservatives.

In fact, grassroots organizing is a top priority of one of the most prominent leaders in the young conservative movement, Jeff Frazee. The 25-year-old executive director of Young Americans for Liberty expanded the Ron Paul student movement into a separate, nationwide youth organization.

“A year ago we started with really nothing,” he said. “And now we have over 150 active and forming chapters on high school and college campuses across the country.”

Frazee described the groups as activist cells activating young people.

“The goal is to get young people involved and inspired by the ideas of the constitution and individual liberty,” he said.

  • camp906

    Saw a great bumper sticker today… two Obama “Os” with a “P” on each side, on the back of a car with three teens pulling into the local high school.

  • matedeirdre

    I’m so happy to see young people getting involved. They see their financial futures being mortgaged by the government today and don’t like it. Older generations should really take a step back and look at the financial burden that many of these policies will be placing on their children and grandchildren.

  • etpietro

    Hmmm, “activist cells,” may not be the BEST choice of phrase.

    But other than that, cheers to these kids for standing up and being heard. As Jason Mattera noted in “Obama Zombies,” conservatives do NOT have to concede the youth vote to the moonbats.

    It is a challenge because of all the loons who are now teaching children and young adults, but kids like these are reason for hope (real hope, that is, not the phony song and dance that was packaged and sold to America in the last election).

  • libertyatstake

    I saw a young teenager hold his own in a (polite) debate with an aging Leftie on Freedom Plaza yesterday. This is good for the republic.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]