This is my keynote address speech (in text form) to the attendees at the Boston Tea National Convention online tonight. This speech, which was updated periodically just to correct any grammatical and spelling errors and missing words, was posted eight minutes prior to the start of the convention.
I hope everyone enjoys what I wrote. Here it is:
I have a few thoughts on tonight’s convention as well as my endorsements that I’d like to share with everyone, and I think this is the best time to do it.
I hope everyone has fun at this convention, because it’s going to be an exciting event online. But, more importantly, it’s going to shape the future of the Party as we all know it, and we must do what is best for the BTP with caution.
Why caution? Because I think, after the recent events that unfolded in the Party, we are now more vulnerable than ever. But, in the days after the unfortunate sequence of events that transpired on this site and on the BTP Yahoo groups, I feel that the Party is going to turn around, and I feel the unity by the membership is stronger than it has ever been.
As the old saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!” I know it’s cliched to say this, but it speaks truth to power. And stronger we shall be in the days, weeks, and months to come!!
As the former Boston Tea Party vice chairman and the former Bylaws Committee chairman, I think our goals are well developed and the bylaws proposals we have presented are great. Even if any one of them doesn’t pass (and I hope they all do), still it shows that we have strong membership at our finger tips.
Imagine where the BTP was months ago soon after the calamitous Denver convention: membership was over 30, we didn’t have any state affiliates, our presidential ticket wasn’t on ballot in one state, and we have several states where he’s now on the ballot. In states where he’s not on the ballot, there are only a few write-in registrations, but look how far we’ve come.
The reason that we are gathering tonight is because we are so passionate about liberty, the spirit of liberty is stronger than ever. I certainly believe this. I hope you do too.
But, more importantly, I hope everyone treats each other better tonight, tomorrow, and beyond. As the late Joseph P. Abell, whom I used to call “Papa Joe” and who, as my drama and English instructor and yearbook advisor as well as my drama club director and old friend, used to say, “If you can’t boost, don’t knock. If you can’t support, why are you here?” I’ve lived by them then, I live by them now, and I’ll live by them for the rest of my life. He presented those words to me and to my graduating class in our senior year in spring of ’93. How proud he would be of me today if he were to know how far I’ve come.
I’m proud of you guys today because of how far we’ve come. And you should be proud. You’ve worked for it. You’ve worked really hard for it. Be the best that you can be, in this Party and for liberty. Make the most of it for the rest of your life. It’s worth it. Make every moment count, because you’ll never have it again.
Tonight’s convention will be exciting. Why? Because we get to choose the direction of the Party. When Tom, with me at his side in 2006, decided to create and build this wonderful party, I couldn’t turn him away. I HAD to help him. The LP betrayed me. But I know, for many of you, it betrayed you. It has betrayed its values, its beliefs, and its ideas. It is now living a lie.
We’ve accomplished far more than the LP has ever had in its 30-plus year history. And we should be proud of it. And yet there’s more to do. We must do more for liberty. The battle for the heart and soul of human liberty in this country is not over. As another old saying goes, “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”
And that fat lady won’t be singing anytime soon. We must fight for liberty. We must fight it ideologically, politically, intellectually, morally, ethically, financially, and consistently. We cannot turn to the Dark Side that the LP has. We must be more vigilant, now more than ever.
My endorsements for the candidates tonight are:
Chair: Jason Gatties
Vice Chair: Doug Gaking
Secretary: Michelle Luetge
At Large: Steve Newton, Neil Kiernan Stephenson, Steve Trinward, and Tom Knapp
Those are good, brave souls with passionate ideas. We must unite behind them now. Please, I beg you to do this. This is our last chance for survival.
Do it for our children. Do it for our country. But, more importantly, do it for our liberty.
Thank you, God and Goddess Bless Us, and God and Goddess Bless America and the world. Our survival depends upon it.
Yours in Liberty,
Todd Andrew Barnett
Former Vice Chair, Boston Tea National Committee
Proud BTP Member and Wiccan
I hope everyone likes it. It made me smile the entire time I re-read it.