Keli Carender

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Keli Carender (1980-) was one of the first, if not the first, Tea Party movement rally organizers, who has risen to national visibility. Tired of politics-as-usual, she decided to call a few conservative friends to set up a rally on 16 February 2009. The rally was attended by 120 people; she held one on the 23rd that had 300.[1] Carender is from the fiscal conservative and libertarian rather than social conservative side of the movement.[2] She is a young woman that does not fit many Tea Party stereotypes: "Keli Carender has a pierced nose, performs improv on weekends and lives here in a neighborhood with more Mexican grocers than coffeehouses. You might mistake her for the kind of young person whose vote powered President Obama to the White House."[3] Educated at Oxford University, she teaches math and resume writing by day, does improv comedy at night, [4] and blogs as "Liberty Belle."

Political development

Later rallies spread throughout the United States making Carender a celebrity. Her activism started when she was unable to influence legislators about the stimulus bill.
“I basically thought to myself: ‘I have two courses. I can give up, go home, crawl into bed and be really depressed and let it happen,’ ” she said this month while driving home from a protest at the State Capitol in Olympia. “Or I can do something different, and I can find a new avenue to have my voice get out.””[3]

After Careder's rallies, she worked with Michelle Malkin.[5] She received training from the national conservative organization, Freedomworks, which has vied for leadership of the movement. Later rallies spread throughout the United States making Carender a celebrity.[3]

On her blog, she lists Tea Party Patriots as an affiliation.[1]

Recent positions

She criticized what she termed the left's idea of "diversity", as she saw demonstrated at the "One nation working together" rally, by Al Sharpton and most other speakers.
The point they all kept making was, "look at how diverse our crowd is." They continuously spoke about how there were so many different colors of people represented in the crowd. That's nice, but diversity is so much more than skin color - so incredibly much more. I believe that the "professional left" has forgotten that. They seem to think that diversity only means that we look different.

The professional left, time and time again, has shown that diversity of thought and opinion is not so welcome....[two professors dealing with bullying] ...wanted to make sure that schools prioritized,

...a commitment to kindness, to putting the needs of other people first and a sense that a community – a shared identity – is as important as anything achieved by individuals within the community. [Emphasis mine]

These women want to teach kids that being part of the group - a "shared identity" (what does that even mean??) - is as important as individual achievement. They went so far as to lament the fact that in traditional education, more weight is placed on math, science, and reading, rather than on "collaborative learning" and "kindness." Um... sorry? And you wonder why American children rank 25th in math and science but 1st in self-confidence? This reminds me of a blog entry I accidentally stumbled across the other day, about a Kindergarten class here in Seattle where the teachers used legos to teach socialism and indoctrinate the kids against capitalism. Groupthink! [6]


  1. The New Discontent: The Tea Party Movement from the Ground Up, Mount Holyoke College
  2. About Me, Redistributing Knowledge Blog
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Unlikely Activist Who Got to the Tea Party Early - Retrieved on 2010-09-26.
  4. Tyrone Beason (18 May 2010), "Keli Carender takes Tea Party's mixed messages to the streets", Seattle Times
  5. 'Boiling Mad': A Tea Party Origin Story : NPR. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
  6. "Liberty Belle" (Keli Carender) (3 October 2010), The Left's incomplete definition of diversity