April 20, 2011

Email from Tricia Willoughby, the 14-year-old girl who spoke at Saturday's Tea Party rally.

As I've shown in other posts — here, here, and here — there were anti-Tea Party protesters who were shouting and noisemaking throughout her speech. She writes:
First off, I’d like to thank Ms. Althouse for giving me the opportunity to write about my experience at the tea party. Also, before another word is spoken, I’d like to clarify that I was most certainly NOT forced to speak at the tea party by my parents or anyone else. My parents would never force me to do that. I did it completely out of my own free will and wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, doing anything else that day.

Here are my (“14 year old, Tricia Willoughby”) views and opinions of what occurred on that extraordinary day…



Little did I know that throughout my entire speech, an immature, grown man, was shouting profanities at me, nor that I was getting booed and yelled at by many other opposers. The leftists, you see, were just getting warmed up, and had not yet made their big push to try to completely drown out the speakers.

The next couple speakers spoke, and it wasn’t until they spoke, that I began to actually hear the union protesters and their annoying shouting. I also saw a heckler come to the front of the crowd and yell throughout the majority of the speeches.

However, despite all of those incidents that I saw that day, the rest of that day was an INCREDIBLE experience. From meeting THE Sarah Palin, to speaking to my fellow Tea Party patriots, to showing the Unionistas what Democracy really looks like, last Saturday was a day that I will hold in my memory forever.

It wasn’t until the next day (Sunday, the 19th) that I watched the video of some particularly hate- filled people. (You know who I’m talking about) When I first watched the video of that particularly distasteful man, my first reaction was actually to laugh! I couldn’t believe it! This grown man was soo immature and so small to be calling me those things. I was thinking “That is what you want to say to me? Really? You’re not even listening to what I’m saying, or criticizing my actual logic. You are simply just calling me names because I am on the opposite side.”

I can truly say that I am not offended in the least by that man’s comments. He obviously was not saying what he said to my speech (since he wasn’t listening at all to it), nor was he saying it to me. He was saying it to a member of the opposing side and couldn’t even string together an intelligent piece of criticism.

I wish I could say this man surprised me, but I cannot. I do not reject or hold prejudice toward their rude and mean protesting, in fact I welcome it. I am actually thankful towards this man and his distasteful comments. He, along with the other protesters, just makes us (the Tea Partiers/Conservatives) look even better.

During the weeks of union protests, did you see any conservatives, tea partiers, or Republicans down at our capitol heckling and trying to drown out the other side? I was actually there, at our Wisconsin Capitol throughout that whole first week of protest. I was there taking a week long class on government with a wonderful organization called TeenPact (check it out at www.teenpact.com), and the unionistas were so loud, and so bothersome with their drums, symbols, bagpipes, and constant chanting, that by the end of the class we were extremely annoyed. However, not once, NOT ONCE, did I see any conservative person harassing, or heckling, or yelling violently at any protester. In fact, I only saw the opposite being done, and the conservatives in the capitol got the same special treatment that was given to me by that particular man.

Be proud, my fellow conservatives, tea partiers, and Republicans. We believe in persuasion, not intimidation!

Even in the face of adversity we must stay strong no matter how hard our urge is to yell and harass back. We must remain the kinder and gentler party, who represents the morals and principals that this great nation was founded on.

However, just because we let our gentleness be evident to all, that does not mean that we are weak. Because when it comes to protecting and defending our morals, values, freedoms and rights, we are strong. Let us keep our position as the kind giant and keep on fighting for America.

Thank you for reading this and God bless!
Keep loving and defending this land of the free and home of the brave,
~A Fellow Patriot-Tricia Willoughby

94 comments:

Trooper York said...

See that. She forgives you Garage.

glam1931 said...

I wish she was my kid.

MadisonMan said...

It's kind of her not to mention Madison's crappy weather. A nicely written letter.

The Musket said...

Way to go, Tricia!! I'm so proud of her and happy for her. I know many children just like her - the country is in good hands if we can keep it long enough for them to inherit it.

kimsch said...

Brava, young lady, Brava!

Sarah said...

and the first snarky (read: hateful but subtle) comment from a Tea Party hater in 5, 4, 3, 2, . . . .

Lance said...

I agree with the point of her speech. But if she had been speaking in favor of the unions, and idolized Nancy Pelosi instead of Sarah Palin, she'd still be every bit as impressive.

Plus, she perfectly exemplifies the political civility that Krugman, Klein, Friedman, etc. only write about.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fourteen? Quite impressive.

Beta Rube said...

There hasn't been an adult on the other team as classy, intelligent or restrained as this 14 year old girl.

Well done miss.

Wraith said...

Young people like this give me hope for the future of our Republic. Stay strong, Ms. Willoughby...and never doubt that you are on the right side.

Chip S. said...

“That is what you want to say to me? Really? You’re not even listening to what I’m saying, or criticizing my actual logic. You are simply just calling me names because I am on the opposite side.”

I propose that in subsequent comment threads this rejoinder simply be called "The Willoughby." It would save a lot of typing.

Patrick said...

I think it would be fun to see this young woman debate, Lincoln/Douglas style, the fellow who was shouting at her. I suppose, however, she would decline. A battle of wits with the unarmed, and all of that, you see.

edutcher said...

That is a very impressive and clear piece of writing from a 14 year old.

Ann, you should be proud of your efforts to encourage her.

And, Miss Willoughby, be assured there are a great many more adults who admire you and think you are an exemplary young lady.

(and I do mean lady)

Irene said...

Thank you for sharing this email, Althouse. She is a thoughtful and thought worthy young woman. Every now and then, I encounter a young person like her, who causes a pause of regret that I had no children.

alan markus said...

What a delightful young lady - would make any father (and mother) proud.

Her detractors will never comprehend how their actions serve to empower her to become a potent force to be reckoned with. Their abusive treatment makes her stronger, not weaker.

The posts appear rather furiously here, so it is hard to look back and find anything, but the other day I was trying to recall that video at the Capitol where the kids were holding a banner over the second floor balcony, the nice police officer was trying to cajole them into removing the sign under threat of arrest, and their mother was being "supportive" of whatever decision they made. As I remember, the kids kind of kept looking at their mother for cues on what to do, and were pretty mute during the whole ordeal.

Anyway, Tricia will always be able to verbally run circles around those kinds of kids.

ALH said...

A great roll model. For adults. Oh, and kids too.

I'm sure she has some awfully proud parents.

Fen said...

Wow. This cool. I feel like I'm actually interacting with the news, instead of simply reading about it.

Bravo Zulu to you, Tricia Willoughby. When the Marines need to remember what they are fighting for, we think of people like you.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III said...

If I were the young ladys father, I would have been talking to the lout calling my daughter names. Probably would have cost him some teeth and me some jail time.

RebeccaH said...

However, just because we let our gentleness be evident to all, that does not mean that we are weak. Because when it comes to protecting and defending our morals, values, freedoms and rights, we are strong. Let us keep our position as the kind giant and keep on fighting for America.

This is the America I've always believed in. How appropriate that this young girl would say it so plainly. I say, shame on those who scream insults without realizing who they're insulting (i.e., themselves).

paranominal said...

Great to hear she's a TeenPact alum...and not surprising. They're a terrific organization. My kids will all be going to the TeenPact class for our state the week after next.

Chuck66 said...

You have more character than me. I can't help but think of the Amish in Pennsylvania. The day after a guy went into their school and murdered several students, the families of the victims forgave him.

You have the Judeo-Christian value of having compassion for our opponents. For NOT feeling hate and anger for those who attack you.

If you can master that, you will have a happy and productive life. And also be much healthier.

Alex said...

14yo Tricia Willoughby is more dignified, refined, graceful and mature then 40-something garbage.

Remember that for the future.

Charlie Eklund said...

Brava!!

Marica said...

Today, at Mississippi State, I met Ron Paul and attended his lecture. I saw him interact with people at a private reception. (Some of us talked about the "groupie"/"fan" thing. I like the lead-follow take on it.)

What ever you think about his politics/philosophy, you gotta admire him for keeping up the pace and fighting the fight. He is not young. I was in the 2nd row (reserved seating) such that I could see the side of the podium from which he spoke using 1 page of notes. He kept shifting his weight form leg to leg and twisting his ankles.

The whole thing was fun. I was impressed by the turnout. It's been storming all day.

I was especially impressed seeing in person what I take from other sources to be his forte: young people. He was at Miss. State because Young Americans for Liberty collected a gazillion signatures. The YALs wore dresses, jackets and ties. These are some kids whose lives may have just changed.

Then we drove 40 miles back to the farm through a really freaking awesome-- if I hadn't have been driving a high profile truck through a gusts up to 50mph hail strobe lightening-- storm. Bourbon. John is reassessing several assumptions (#libertarian minded people in Mississippi-- there were several hundred from all over the state, and so on) and we are chit chatting about Liberty and the future.

Thanks for doing this, Ann. This post has made a pretty good day a very good day.

Pardon the sap but it's all true.

vbspurs said...

Tricia, if I have a girl, I want her to be JUST like you. Well done, and best of luck, always.

Cheers,
Victoria

SukieTawdry said...

Very impressive, Ms. Willoughby; don't lose your drive or that spark.

The Sacramento event featured a speech by Caleb Yee (17, I believe) from southern California who started the very first high school Tea Party. He was impressive as well.

Compare and contrast Ms. Willoughby and Mr. Yee with these young people (via Power Line):

PowerShift 2011

Methadras said...

Her mother and father should be swollen with pride at what a wonderful and intelligent child they have raised. Her light literally diminishes the miasma that leftards exude from their farcical, witless, and dangerous ideology. She is already a conservative star. I hope she realizes that her maturity outshines a vast majority of her elders in power already.

Orion said...

Can we run Ms. Willoughby for President this next election?

She's got all the qualifications that President Obama had and seems like a better speaker to me - makes more sense anyway.

We can just do a little modification of her birth certificate to get around that pesky 'age' thing...

Orion

Palladian said...

Keep thinking for yourself, Ms Willoughby, and don't let your clear thinking and independence get squelched by allegiance to any political party. Keep believing in ideas, not parties or "sides" and we'll be in great shape in the future. Good advice for young people of any political orientation.

Ann Althouse said...

"Thank you for sharing this email, Althouse. She is a thoughtful and thought worthy young woman. Every now and then, I encounter a young person like her, who causes a pause of regret that I had no children."

But, Irene, you have poodles!

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles.

Palladian said...

"Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles."

But you have some drawings of a fox terrier/chihuahua!

Poodles eventually turn into Mephistopheles and make you sign contracts with Lucifer anyway. Who wants to deal with that sort of thing?

vbspurs said...

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles.

If this doesn't go on your tombstone, it'll be a travesty.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know how you could improve on that. I felt compelled to click the link and read on. It was irresistible, because I knew she would do this well, and I wanted to see that. Very satisfying.

bagoh20 said...

Pausing poodles produce puddles... probably.

K said...

I have been made quiet. I want to say something, but I'm not sure how to put it. This very young woman's simple faith in values and behavior that so many people in the world seem to have thrown overboard has left me with more hope than I have had in a very long time. Here is a child whose parents have given her the chance to grow into her own thinking, to express herself with patience and civility - so sad to find this unusual, peculiar, rather amazing. I guess I am heartened and moved. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. The climate of hate and knee-jerk aphorisms we have to wade through in our time - it's exhausting. Also a little amazing - that the thing can perpetuate itself for so long, made out of tissue as it so obviously is.

The child speaks substance of character. Long may she wave.

Mark said...

However, just because we let our gentleness be evident to all, that does not mean that we are weak. Because when it comes to protecting and defending our morals, values, freedoms and rights, we are strong. Let us keep our position as the kind giant and keep on fighting for America.

The Left jettisoned this perspective when it decided Malcolm X was cooler than Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you Miss Willoughby for being a morning star in a long night.

The Crack Emcee said...

Yep, it's the maturity that's missing - everywhere.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

4-19 is always a hard day for me. The thoughts of OKC and being there come streaming in and dark depression follows. As in 9-11 I become overwhelmed at the scope of evil that exists.

Today was little better until I read this from Miss Willoughby and now I feel much better indeed. A bright spot of _goodness_, of decent and honest thought and action.

Thanks.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

She's great. She's got quite a mind and quite a heart, and I'm pleased to have seen a nice example of hope.

Very, very few adults know how to respond to twerps and jerks as well as this young lady does.

How does this country get such wonderful people? We're not the greatest generation, but maybe these people we're pushing all this debt and irresponsibility onto are going to do something fundamental with our country.

bagoh20 said...

"When I first watched the video of that particularly distasteful man,"

I thought he was adorable, like a monkey in the zoo flinging poo.

JAL said...

Well done, Tricia.

Thank you Professor, for sharing.

(And does JAC know he could be traded in for a poodle? Or a labradoodle?)

Chip Ahoy said...

Excellent.

Peter said...

What a delightful young woman. I wonder if she would be interested in a long engagement with one of my grandsons. Cute, courage, brains and faith. Just can't beat that combo.

Larry said...

Tricia you are surely the adopted daughter of all of us in the Tea Party. Our pride in you could not be greater and our only wish is that we had more like you.

Judy said...

My goodness .. this brilliant young mind is truly shining star. We need many more like you dear! Never let them discourage your resolve.

Amos Tal said...

There are knight-errants at the ready, Lady Willoughby. We slay fire-breathing dragons and fend off deranged "unionistas."

Just call (here) when you need us.

Tal of Errant Blue

rhhardin said...

At what age do you notice pandering.

xcontra said...

I hate to say it, but most of it looks like something her parents wrote. But when she writes about the goombah heckler being SOOO mature, now THAT sounds like an 8th grader. :D

NikFromNYC said...

They failed to steer all productive money into welfare pits vi a Global Warming theory.

Charles Manson and Osama Bin Laden were rooting for them though!

http://oi52.tinypic.com/rt10rd.jpg

Alas, thermometers were rounded up to rescue industry from such slander:

http://i49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg

Chris Arsenault said...

Tricia's tenacity and courage to speak in front of such a large crowd of those opposed to her is admirable, but is not an exception when it comes to young people speaking out for life - valuing all individuals at every stage of life.

I've judged many home-schooled oratory contests and pro-life speeches. These kids are outstanding speakers, and they work hard to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Tricia is not alone by a long shot - check out the videos at http://www.thineeyes.org/ and you'll see hundreds of thousands of young devoted individuals standing up for others, who are too small to speak for themselves.

edutcher said...

vbspurs said...

Tricia, if I have a girl, I want her to be JUST like you. Well done, and best of luck, always.

Cheers,
Victoria


You are in the family way, mum?

And here, I thought you were at the threshold of geezerdom, much like myself.

My compliments on your maturity, eloquence, sophistication, perspicacity, and erudition, much as the dashing Miss Willoughby.

Ann Althouse said...

"Thank you for sharing this email, Althouse. She is a thoughtful and thought worthy young woman. Every now and then, I encounter a young person like her, who causes a pause of regret that I had no children."

But, Irene, you have poodles!

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles.


What Irene said.

As to poodles, it's similar with Yorks. They do get to you, but they aren't quite the treasure someone like Miss Willoughby is.

traditionalguy said...

Nice e-mail. The chutzpah of the last generation shines in her.

anony said...

Not surprised she went to TeenPact. TeenPact is kind of like a Christian/homeschool Boys/Girls State. The kids learn about how government works, they learn public speaking skills. (Although I suspect most Teenpact kids are already in speech and debate).

My 4 kids are home schooled, and they participate in home school speech and debate tournaments. These kids are very impressive.

There are a lot of kids who aren't being edumacated in public schools, and are under the radar, like Miss Willoughby.

TWM said...

What a gal. That's the kind of young lady I want my 15 year old son to fall in love with in ten years.

dogzilla said...

I have no children and so, when I feel tired of this crazy fight for our good country, I sometimes want to say, screw it. I observe teens and young "adults" and wonder why I am bothering, since they seem too indoctrinated already, so too-far-gone...

Now I will think of people like Tricia Willoughby instead. This is someone worth the effort.

Thanks for sharing her wonderful message.

Pogo said...

Smart, well-educated, well-spoken, brave, and kind.

She gives one hope for the future.

Tibore said...

Wow. More erudite, more eloquent, more persuasive, and more articulate than too many others who choose to speak about politics. Very, very well done by that young lady.

exhelodrvr1 said...

And now will the left try to destroy her?

Thucydides said...

What a hopeful sign for the future of the Republic. We need to hold her up as a role model for others to follow far into the future...

Shanna said...

Brava.

There comes a point in everyone's life when they realize that some people are going to hate you for no good reason and you really shouldn't let it bother you. Glad she's realized that and isn't taking this to heart.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@ChipS: "I propose that in subsequent comment threads this rejoinder simply be called 'The Willoughby.' It would save a lot of typing."

I think her name should be a verb. That guy was blowing a horn and shouting insults, trying to drown out the speaker, but he got Willoughbied.

Jessica said...

Thank you Tricia -- thank you for your eloquence and your willingness to speak out!

Jessica said...

Way to go Tricia. Keep on fighting the good fight! :)

MadisonMan said...

Sarah, I notice you're still waiting.

Irene said...

Althouse said, "But, Irene, you have poodles!

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles."

And we will be getting a third at the end of the summer!

You always are welcome to pop in for a poodle fix.

Lincolntf said...

It's an honor to read her e-mail. There have been a few hopeful lights sparkling through the miasma of Wisconsin politics, and she's the brightest yet.

bagoh20 said...

"Sarah, I notice you're still waiting."

They've been Willoughbied.

Big Mike said...

I hate the phrase "little did I know," but other than that a fine letter.

You are quite right, Lance, but the problem I have with what you wrote is that I have yet to see anyone at all from the left who -- teenager, young adult, mature adult -- who demonstrates the civility that Tricia Willoughby demonstrates. Absent a counter-example, it seems fair to conjecture that people wanting mature discourse are entirely in the center and center-right.

Rick67 said...

"We believe in persuasion, not intimidation!"

This.

(One of the biggest most consistent differences between classic liberals aka conservatives and leftists aka liberals/progressives. How much do they attempt to *persuade*? Really?)

Holmes said...

This is hope and change.

Phil 3:14 said...

Well I'll get crap for saying this (and her speech and letter were admirable) but perusing the TeenPact website suggests she is the stereotypical conservative Christian home-schooled teen.

Its clear that a large number of Tea Partiers are conservative Christians. That's not bad in and of itself but what I hoped and admired most of the Tea Party movement was its focus on fiscal management. (Granted in this speech Miss Willoughby didn't lose that focus.)

And as a Christian my concern has always been the blurring of the boundary between Christian principles and political principles. As a challenge:

What is the Christian stance on taxes?

rocketeer67 said...

What is the Christian stance on taxes?

The answer is that there is none. "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" wasn't Christ's answer to a rather direct question about taxes; it was a total dismissal of the question. I think that Christ was saying that such questions were "below his pay grade."

Diane said...

If - hopefully WHEN - this young lady decides to run for office, she has my vote.

righthook38 said...

That basically describes the entire protest going on during the tea party rally. They acted like a bunch of immature children, swearing and flipping people off, screaming and name calling, and making noise for no reason.

They have no legitimate argument. They just want to spit hate. If I were a Democratic politician, I would be embarrassed to be representing those people.

Kudos to this brave young lady for her courage. She sounds like a great kid!

chickelit said...

You go Tricia! I have a daughter, 11, who has your back covered. You are truly the next generation!

wv: brougal
Low brou, high brou, middle brou. It takes all kinds.

Pastafarian said...

Home-schooled kids can be astonishingly bright, mature, decent people. I'm sure they're not always; but a large percentage of the ones I've met have been.

I just interviewed a junior in one of the most challenging engineering schools in the country, with a gpa of 3.96, and he was home-schooled.

There's something really poignant about this exchange, between this girl and Althouse. I'm not eloquent enough to put it into words, but maybe there's an element of "young Althouse" in this young woman.

edutcher said...

Irene said...
Althouse said, "But, Irene, you have poodles!

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles."


And we will be getting a third at the end of the summer!

You always are welcome to pop in for a poodle fix


Did you ever pick a name?

Irene said...

edutcher, we are still toying with "Flirt."

If it's a boy, then we may choose "Sprout." Mom Irene doesn't like that name as much.

We would prefer to get a female since we have two males now.

The puppies are still in the oven. They are not due until June 10.

E.M. Davis said...

Every now and then I have a pause of regret that I have no poodles.

Jeez, lady, go get yourself a poodle.

Or do you have the allergies?

Sloan said...

As impressive and articulate as Miss Willoughby obviously is, I have to say I'm not surprised. I have taught a biology class for home-schooled students for the past six years, and she is typical of the students I've taught: intelligent, well-spoken, respectful, gracious. I credit their upbringing by parents who are heavily invested in their children's well-being and education; anyone who takes their child's education so seriously that they would take on the added time, expense, and responsibilities of home schooling, more often than not will produce a young lady as admirable as Tricia Willoughby.

Sure, there have been exceptions, but that's been my general experience. I love teaching these kids.

Robin said...

Great young lady and a class act.

I guess we can now state to the trolls that it is a shame that they can't act like a 14 year old.

paranominal said...

"perusing the TeenPact website suggests she is the stereotypical conservative Christian home-schooled teen."

This is a bad thing?

"And now will the left try to destroy her?"

No, they're not afraid of her. Yet. But they may write her off and deem her inconsequential with some sort of dissing comment like 'pay no attention to the talking head - she's just a stereotypical conservative Christian home-schooled teen.'

Sheila said...

Way to go, Tricia! I'm proud of you and your sisters for being active citizens and participating in local government the way that you are.

Nicely written letter!
Love ya,
Aunt Sheila

galdosiana said...

I heard Tricia on the Charlie Sykes show this morning, and she was just as impressive on air as she is in this letter. Very well-spoken and poised, and an excellent example for all who would demean the tenets of the Tea Party and of conservatism in general.

steveH said...

Interesting that we've not yet heard from Garage and his pals.

Jaded said...

I pray to God that there are a hundred million youngsters just like her to be ready for the next generations battle against the leftists, who keep turning up like the devil himself every generation.

JAL said...

@ xcontra who questions whether her parents wrote her letter (and her speech, I presume).

Chris Arsenault who comments below you nails it.

My brother-in-law's fiancee has home schooled grandchildren and roped him into judging a home school debating contest with her where the kids are given a topic and a just a couple minutes to get ready.

He had never heard of a this and was completely taken by it. He thought it was amazing. This from a Lehigh and Columbia MBA guy.

Just a little slice of America the blues have missed. An impressive slice.

Methadras said...

steveH said...

Interesting that we've not yet heard from Garage and his pals.


Not surprising at all. They are cockroaches to her light of maturity. They scurry to get out of the way of it and hide underneath their dank, dirty refrigerator of leftardism.

Tari said...

What an outstanding young woman! Brava! If my 11 year old son is 1/2 as eloquent in 3 years I will faint with pride.

And Ann, you should never regret a lack of poodles. Boxers maybe, but never poodles.

Tom said...

Willoughby 2032

Rog said...

Brava, indeed, to Tricia for such maturity and wisdom so richly revealed in her speech and email. Thank you, Ann, for providing such a good and supportive avenue for her thoughts. Particularly touching was the comment that soldiers (Marines were mentioned specifically) think of people like Tricia when they go through rough patches and have to have someone in mind to justify their sacrifices and make their difficulties seem worthwhile.

Nita said...

Notice how nice all of our posts are - due to the wonderful example of Willoughby!

Weekend Libertarian said...

What a bright and articulate young person. I’m glad Ann Coulter linked her readers to this piece.

Greg said...

...Wait!... I've just channeled that guy in the crowd... Here it is...
Foist of all. I don't know why that brat tinks I was gonna listen to her... I wasn't der to listen. I was bein' paid to disrupt. I didn't need to make no sense, 'cus I was dare to intimidate. She's gotta know now... I don't got an argument. I'm stealin' from youse guys. I had youse over a barrel and I wanna keep it dat way. Take a cut? Sacrifice? Part of the community? F@8# that! Da community is dare to sacrifice for me. Youse guys are the wage slaves, and its time you figgered dat out.

Gotta go now. My "community organiza" is tellin' me dat I gotta regista ta vote in Ohio, bein' as its gonna be an important swing state. Civility? Rules? F@8# that!..

He's gone now. but I sure he'll be back.