Tea Parties are The People

Tom Knowles sent me this poem. Sandburg’s description of what makes The People appears to accurately describe the Tea Party Movement. We have learned to remember and hear the sneer in the voices of our elected leaders when referring to The People.

By Carl Sandburg

I AM the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of the world is
done through me?

I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
world’s food and clothes.

I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.

I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
makes me work and give up what I have. And I

Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.

When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.

The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.


  1. Carolyn Dulke says:

    It has been many years since I read this Sandburg. It is more powerful and prophetic, now that I am part of the “mob”. It’s time to remember, to learn those lessons, to stop being played for a fool. IT IS TIME.

  2. Josh Wilkinson says:

    Sounds like the labour movement to me.

  3. The ‘labour’ movement is another group that speaks derisively of The People while professing to care for them. We, the people, are remembering what Big Labor has said, how they have robbed us and played us for the fool.

    We, The People are individuals united by our ideas and ideals. Revolution is brewing, Josh. Are you an individual willing to say, “No more!” or are you comfortable with elected officials playing you for the fool?

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