A year ago, at the end of one of my periodic political rants, I wrote:

But I have a dream. I have a dream that one day, enough people in this nation will get sick of the two major parties to vote ‘em out.

In fact, that’s a sabotage strategy I might be willing to support — for one election cycle, vote only for candidates who aren’t and never have been tied to the republican or democrat party. Even if we end up with a bunch of inexperienced bumblers for 4 years, it can hardly be worse than 4 years of either of the two major parties. (Heck, if you’re a republican, wouldn’t you rather have independents in power than democrats? And if you’re a democrat, wouldn’t you rather have independents in power than republicans?)

Okay, so I didn't exactly predict the Tea Party movement. But clearly, enough people who are sick of the incumbents have organized and voted 'em out.

Washington, are you getting the message?

Last week, my wife was talking politics with a relative who asserted that the only thing we can do to send a message to Washington is not vote.

That'd be a huge mistake. If you want to send a message, you must vote! Just not for the other major party.

Either vote for a third party, or, like the Tea Party folks are doing, for someone outside the mainstream of your party -- someone other than whoever the party leaders are trying to feed you.

It's happening. Let's hope the message gets through. If we hold the line against "representatives" who don't represent the people, maybe they'll eventually get the message.

And if they don't, they'll be out anyway.