We discovered something on the road that everyone seems to get, no matter where they might be on the political spectrum — the offensive nature of “two sets of rules” in America. 

What are the “two sets of rules?” Here’s a basic explanation: there’s one set of rules for people who can garner influence through power, status or money, and alter the rules to their benefit.  We have another set of rules for those who simply can’t do that, due to lack of power, status or money — and those groups and individuals disproportionately pay the price.

On our 30 Million jobs tour across the country, we found broad consensus that “two sets of rules” is an issue that we need to solve.  We need to do that while we create custom solutions for our immediate communities in small, achievable ways.   To discuss these ideas and how they’ve played out in the real world, Mark Meckler joined us on the show – he is co-author of the new book Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution and someone who is advocating for custom solutions.

Meckler was co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and explained why recently left the group for pursuit of a broader agenda.

“For me, it really boiled down to philosophy.  I’m a grassroots guy — I was just down in Sacramento with a bunch of Tea Partiers, and I spent the weekend in Phoenix with a bunch of activists.  And it’s really about who I am — it’s about bringing power to the people at the local level, it’s about self-governance. I just felt, from my perspective, the Tea Party Patriots had become this big, top-down organization raising multi-millions of dollars” said Meckler.

Meckler saw that the money they were raising wasn’t necessarily making it to the activists on the ground, and that was a problem. “That’s just not what I’m about, so I fought to make that happen. And also the organization had been doing things that associated it with the Republican party.  I’m not a Republican, and a large number of people in the Tea Party movement — 40% — aren’t Republicans.  So when they sponsored the Southern Republican Leadership Conference to the tune of $250,000, really it was kind of the final blow for me.”

Mark believes that in 2012 and beyond, there is a huge opportunity for all of us to collectively confront the issue of “two sets of rules” and to adopt the 21st century concept of custom solutions for community restoration.

“What that means, fundamentally, is self-governance. It means every community, whether they’re inner city communities or rural communities, has the right to design it’s own solutions.  Those people in those communities, they know best.  And we have to erase the party lines,” he explains.

“We have to get rid of the labels like left and right, conservative and liberal, progressive,” says Meckler. Watch the full video and conversation with Mark Meckler and Dylan here:

For more on Mark Meckler’s book, you can check it out here. Also, take a listen to a recent podcast we taped (outside at the State Capitol in Austin, TX) with Mark Meckler and David DeGraw of AmpedStatus.com.

– Meg Robertson is a digital producer for DylanRatigan.com. You can find her on Twitter @MegRobertson.