Northern Illinois Loonies

On Saturday, I spoke to the Northern Illinois Tea Party.  In fact, I spent the day there selling my book and talking to the various and sundry people who wandered by.  I was on the lookout for loonies, having been warned numerous times by the popular press that Tea Partiers were known to be such.  You know what they say in poker: if you can’t find the patsy, you’re it.  Damned if I could find even one loony.  Hmmmmmm…

Tell you what I did find.  I found a roomful of people who were at or near retirement age, many of whom have never been involved in politics but now believe it a moral imperative.  I found Libertarian candidates running for office because they realize the system is broken and they want to help fix it.  I found a 14-year-old who had earned a scholarship to the von Mises Institute–and who could easily lead a seminar on Austrian School economics.

Swallowing my disappointment at not finding any certifiable loonies, I started looking for the dumb ones.  You know, the kind John Kerry says are giving Democrats a hard time.  Instead, I found people willing to listen and learn for eight hours straight.  My topic was fiat money and fractional reserve banking.  Another speaker talked about the specific impact of the new health care bill.  Yet another dissected educational methods used in public schools.

Here’s a message for you, John Kerry: Tea Party activists are neither dumb nor crazy.  They are concerned about whether your policies are about to hose down their whole retirements.  They are afraid that their children and grandchildren will live under socialism or worse, in complete chaos.  They are quite well-informed, thank you.  In fact, that is the reason they don’t like you and your party.  The curtain has been pulled back and they don’t like the people they see pulling levers in a cloud of smoke and sparks.

These people are America.  They are just not the America you hold as a fantasy in your mind.  They eat lunch at family restaurants and drink iced tea.  They have jobs, run businesses, and hug their grandkids.  They drive cars, pay bills, and read the newspaper.  Regular folks, these are–not some lunatic fringe.  Remember that, because America is waking up.  November will be the first skirmish in a long battle for the soul of our country.  You can get out of Washington and listen to these people with an open mind or you can look down your nose while they kick your behind at the polls.


Many thanks to Jane Carrell and the other wonderful people of the Northern Illinois Tea Party who asked me to share my thoughts on Saturday.  Please contact me for information about my speaking availability.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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6 Responses to Northern Illinois Loonies

  1. Jane Carrell says:

    THANK YOU, Terry Noell, for the most amusing, entertaining and EDUCATIONAL speech on how the world of money works. For the most part, most of us in your audience were “tabula rasa”, clean slates, unencumbered by any knowledge of economics. You made it real — I wish I were a few years younger seeking an undergrad degree so I could attend your class at Illinois State! We will invite you again, and probably soon.


    • Alice Crocker says:

      Thank you for speaking to us at the Town Hall on Saturday. Your talk was both very informative and entertaining. We’ll look forward to following your blog and future appearances.


  2. Terry Noel says:

    Jane, you can count on me anytime. Thanks for the kind words.



  3. Jane Wilson says:

    Hello Terry,
    We spoke after the meeting and you gave me your business card. I bought your books. I was actually the last person to leave if you remember?

    Anyway I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your speech on Saturday and make one correction to your blog. The 14 year old that you spoke about in your blog is really 17, I’m sure that was a typo. But I did want to make sure you knew she was 17 and not 14 as she might read this and she’s really to smart for 17 let alone 14.

    Also, I hope to get to hear you speak again soon. You we very knowledgable and entertaining!

    Thanks again,

    Jane Wilson

    PS: I really hope I can think of a really good business to start so I can get more knowledge from you.
    Have a great evening.


  4. Jane Carrell says:

    BTW, Savannah, our young Austrian economist, is 17 years old. She’s quite petite!


  5. Terry Noel says:

    Thanks, Jane and Jane! Sorry about the age goof. I was outside the main room and mis-heard her age when she was introduced.


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