The Greater Lowell Tea Party is having its Candidates' Night tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Bunting Club on Boylston St. in Lowell. I know there will be a lot of media folks on hand, so you can always just read about it tomorrow, but if you're able to go, here's why I recommend it:
A lot of folks have strong opinions about the Tea Party movement and its members that are formed predominantly, or even entirely, by short video clips or stories. However, many of these people, who would no doubt ascribe to themselves the highest-levels of "open-mindedness" and "non-judgementalness, dude" if, say, asked to do so in a survey, have never taken the time to meet any of the Tea Party members.
I've crossed paths with quite a few Greater Lowell Tea Partiers just by going to events with Sam Meas. While I have no doubt there are some loony toons elements within the movement nationally (just as there are within whatever organizations you or I belong to, writ large), the people I've personally met within the TP haven't lived up to any of the stereotypes, or to the Janeane Garofalo school of pseudo-intellectualism that says anything remotely negative about the current state (or size!) of our government must be some kind of codeword for latent hatred.
So if you're able and willing to check this event out, I recommend it, no matter what your political persuasion.
And if you do, and still come away thinking the Tea Partiers are a bunch of wackos with tinfoil hats, at least you can say you saw it in person with your own eyes as opposed to a thirty-second news clip.