Broadside Books, Harper Collins’s new conservative publishing arm, is launching a series, Voices of the Tea Party, in an effort to give a media platform to grassroots conservatives who aren’t getting national attention. Editor Adam Bellow told The Daily Caller the series will offer local leaders an opportunity to highlight issues that interest them, instead of letting the mainstream media and establishment conservative media frame the conversation.
“The point is to provide a platform and a means of direct expression for Tea Party activists and organizers who I believe have something to contribute to the national debate and who are being, to some extent, shut out by establishment conservative press,” Bellow said in a phone interview. “I wasn’t clued into all the nuances of the Tea Party movement when I started this, but what I’ve learned was that there’s a great deal of sensitivity surrounding the whole question of who gets to speak for the Tea Party.”
The “who gets to speak for the Tea Party,” problem is one that Dallas Tea Party founder Phillip Dennis has worried about for a while. He told TheDC the movement prides itself on not nominating a leader or specific spokesperson, and depends on the distinction between different groups in order to survive. Different local Tea Party chapters, or “American movement” chapters as Dennis calls them, have different priorities as the anti-big government movement focuses heavily on how to fix local and state issues, sometimes more so than national issues.
“The interesting thing about the Tea Party is every member can speak for themselves and no one else,” Dennis said. “Any leader can only speak for the group that they represent.” By that, Dennis means he’ll only speak for the Dallas Tea Party, a large group boasting 20,000 members, and that he won’t speak for the entire movement.
Bellow is rolling out the first Voices of the Tea Party series installment Tuesday morning, and plans to have new materials roughly every six weeks. The first wave features a piece from President Barack Obama’s second cousin, Dr. Milton Wolf, in which he explains why his Hippocratic oath forces him to reject Obamacare. The series also features pieces from Lorie Medina, in which she explains how Tea Partiers could organize similar to the left, and Mark Lloyd. Lloyd’s piece describes how his possible ancestral connection to patriot and founding father Patrick Henry inspired him to join the Tea Party in Virginia.