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Letter To The Editor: Westchester's Tea Party Explains Trump's Rise

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NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- North Salem Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, e-mail

To the editor:

It seems like 2009 was just the other day when people became so outraged with the government in Washington that they took to the streets in protest.

It started with TARP -- the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Local protest events by small groups spontaneously occurred. on April 15, 2009, the day tax returns are due, was a focal point for larger more coordinated events.

Rick Santelli, a little known financial reporter on CNBC, suggested that we hold a Tea Party on the shores of Lake Michigan.

On Sept. 12, 2009, somewhere between 1-2 million people came from across the U.S. to protest in Washington.

It was there Matt Kibbe from Freedomworks said: “What we need is a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.”

On Tax Day 2010, protest rallies were once again held across the county. Americans protested against excessive taxation, government regulation and the upcoming Obamacare legislation.

That November we gave the Republican Party control of the house with 63 new members. John Boehner, the new speaker of the House said we only have one-half of one-third of the government. Nothing happened.

In 2014, we gave the Republicans control of the Senate and still nothing happened.

In 2015, we changed speakers of the House thanks to the Freedom Caucus and again nothing happened.

Government was still growing. Our personal liberties were still being trampled on. Politicians were still focused on getting re-elected and not listening to “we the people.”

The cauldron was boiling. Tea Party and non-Tea Party people were part of the discontent.

Out of this boiling cauldron came Donald Trump. He understood what the problem was and had tapped into the discontent.

At the 2016 Republican National Convention I came away from Trump’s acceptance speech feeling that I had just seen the hostile takeover of the Republican Party Matt Kibbe said we needed. I did not see very many members of the Republican establishment on stage. It was outsiders, businessmen and others who understood the rank-and-file Republicans up there on the stage.

It all started with a few of us going out onto the streets. The movement grew. It began to include others who didn’t call themselves Tea Party but held the same beliefs.

We never expected it would be Donald Trump who would become our anti-establishment champion but maybe we got what we need.

Howard Hellwinkel,

South Salem

(Hellwinkel submitted the letter on behalf of the Westchester County Tea Party. He is the group's coordinator.)

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