This week I had the pleasure of attending a Tea Party, along with nearly 3500 other people in our little town of Sioux Falls. When I first heard about the plan for Tea Parties across the nation, I had no idea they’d be planning one where I lived and was pleasantly surprised when I found out they were going to host one here. I was very excited about going.
The day overall was a beautiful one, not overly warm but not cold at all. We held our Tea Party near a lake because the plan was to re-enact the actual Boston Tea Party after all the speeches were done. When I got there, I was very surprised by the number of people everywhere. It seemed to me like it was a group getting ready for a huge sports event or maybe an event at a state fair or something.
I stood in line at first to get a hot dog – but more so because everyone was signing something there and I was curious to see what that was. It was a form that you could sign if you were interested in getting more information on future events that are being planned. I was definitely interested so I signed up. I got out of the line for hot dogs because one, it was moving way too slow and two; I had a much better lunch at the office waiting for me.
Then the event started. The man in charge spoke for a few minutes, and then there was a prayer from a local pastor in town. Then a young girl from the school my kids go to had the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance. At that point several people dressed as historical figures from our country’s past got up and spoke on various taxation issues. Then at that point, two men dressed in colonial clothing got onto a boat in the lake and dumped over boxes of tea. The boxes weren’t really tea of course, on the boxes were names for the various issues that have many Americans concerned and upset about our country’s direction.
I looked around and overall saw a wide variety of people from all walks of life there. I didn’t really see that many outrageous people there with two exceptions. One gentleman was giving away CD’s about the so-called 9-11 conspiracy and as I was leaving a guy was standing near a baseball field yelling about the end of the world. But these sure seemed to me to be the exception to the rule. Everyone seemed very excited and energetic. They honestly seemed to be just trying, in some fashion, to express our frustration at the total lack of good representation in our state and country’s political leaders.
So, what things are we frustrated about? I can’t speak for all, but I can for myself and for me, the things that I am frustrated about from a taxation point of view have to do with these enormous spending bills that keep getting passed and are sucking people’s money out of their wallets faster than they can earn.
I was so frustrated last year – before President Obama took office – when George Bush and John McCain and many other Republican (and Democratic) individuals signed that stimulus bill to help the banks. It was the wrong thing to do. And it was described to us as a “do or die” moment that now, six months later, does not appear to have helped at all. And there also appears to be a large amount of that money that no one can account for.
Then, when President Obama did take office, he pushed for this huge stimulus plan that had things in that I do not believe will ever stimulate the economy. And when he promised the American people a fair amount of time for them to read it before these things were voted on, he violated that promise because not only did we not have ample time to read it, it seemed that pretty much no one who signed it did either. This stimulus plan then had a piece in it, that gave executives a bonus at AIG, which then when they got it, the very people who signed the bill (including the President) expressed outrage for them getting said bonuses. This to me sets up a type of “class warfare” mentality in the country that then makes it easier for laws that in effect, punish those who make more, for doing nothing more than making more money than someone else. In fact, they tried to do just that by taxing nearly 90% of those bonuses, which if I understand correctly, is a direct violation of our Constitution.
These are but two examples. There are some others, but these from an economic point of view are where I am frustrated and where I feel like our leaders have lost the ability to properly govern us. Not just Democrats either, I am equally frustrated at Republicans as well. I personally would be willing to vote out everyone on both parties – as long as those who run against them represent the issues that I care about. That’s something I am starting to fear may never happen.
That’s where the individuals on the very liberal side of the fence just didn’t get it this week when they reported on these events. Yes, there were odd people there at some of these tea parties such as Susan Roesgen of CNN found right before she got into the argument with the Dad with his two year old kid. But they again, were very much the exception. And Susan herself seemed more antagonistic then pretty much the majority of the people at these parties.
And I can’t even go into how disgusting the individuals at MSNBC were with their constant use of the word “tea-bagging”. Apparently that has heavy sexual connotations (only if you are a perverted freak in my opinion) that I was completely unaware of (and most normal people are as well).
Then for Janeane Garafolo to get on MSNBC and call us all a bunch of racists is nothing short of mind-blowing. It’s a silly comeback to the argument. Kind of like a five-year old saying the following after someone argues with him, “Oh yeah? Well, you smell funny!” Are we really going to go four years (hopefully four) where every time we disagree with President Obama we are going to be called racist? Really? That’s the grown-up argument against our position? There was not one racial overtone in anything I saw or read about that day.
Despite all that silliness, I think that the Tea Parties were a positive thing that I hope will do nothing more than motivate people to push forward for better representation and leaders who will honestly lead us in a good direction. I hope that we get out there, talk with people, get them motivated as well and then when the time comes – Election Day – we use what was started on this day to truly make a difference in our country. That is the American way and why I was truly proud to be a part of this event that day.
NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 4/18/2009.