TEA Party April 15th, 2009

Originally posted April 15, 2009

Today, as you all know, is April 15th. Many of you dread this day because it is crunch time to wrap up your returns and wait in line at the post office in hopes that you can be processed before they close, ironically despite the fact that your taxes pay for the post office.

For me, April 15th is heaven. After three and a half months working from sun up to sun down and on the weekends, filing hundreds of corporate returns and personal returns, and putting my life on hold, April 15th is the end of tax season. In fact, we usually don’t do many new returns on the 15th and already have our extensions filed. So today, I decided to play hooky, pick up my wife, and attend the TEA Party at the Jacksonville Landing.

I decided before going that I wasn’t going to mention to anyone what I do for a living, in case anyone asked. Mobs have been known to do very bad things to even the most innocent among them when riled up enough. But this crowd was what you would expect from a Conservative and Libertarian crowd. The most oddly dressed were wearing 1776 uniforms, not pink drag. They boo-ed our tax and spend congress and cheered mention of our founding fathers and our constitution. And when one of the speakers enjoyed her freedom of religion and closed her speech in prayer to Christ, it felt as though we had regained something that had been long lost in years of political correctness and timidity. No one unplugged the microphone.

The crowd of about 2,000 was loving it. Signs ranged from anti-tax, anti-socialism, and anti-Obama to pro-constitution and pro-individual freedom. There was no specific theme. Fairtax.org had a table set up as did WoundedWarriors.com. Children wore shirts saying “I’m too young to be in debt”, and in fact one of the children had a chance to give a speech where he let us know that by the time he is our age his portion of the national debt will be $50,000.

The president of a local bank that refused TARP funds gave the first speech. I was actually shocked. I have been to political rallies before. At the McCain rally I was glad we had a candidate running against Obama, but I wished it was someone else. Even at the Romney rally, I was loving what he said but he sounded like a politician. These people weren’t politicians. The president of this local bank spoke out against the excesses of our government and their errant plans without fear or temperance. It was very refreshing. I don’t think he was worried about offending anyone.

The next speech was from a local radio host who has a show on money and personal finances. He spoke about cap and trade and pulled no punches. When he called Global Warming a hoax, the crowd went wild.

These TEA parties represent what was once mainstream and has now become a sub-culture. Many of the people there were Conservative Constitutionalists like myself. One sign read “Right wing extremists uphold the Constitution”. Another sign read, regarding unconstitutional spending, “Bush started it, Obama continues it, we can stop it”. There were home-school kids, soccer moms, bikers for Jesus, businessmen, black, white, Asian and Hispanic. One woman in the crowd behind me asked if Representative Corrine Brown was here to answer to us, but I am not sure if the Landing actually made it into Brown’s district.

CNN.Com was quick to point out that many Liberals don’t think these protests will amount to anything, an unidentified protester in a February TEA party said something about waterboarding Obama, and a month ago 62% of Americans approved of Obama’s tax policy according to a CNN poll. That isn’t what I saw today. What I saw today was Americans like me who believed that we are taxed too much, that taxes are too complex, that our government spends way too much, that taxes on employers are too high, that cap and trade will destroy our economy, that bailouts were a mistake, and that economic growth and prosperity are the responsibility of individual Americans, not the government.

I really enjoyed the whole thing. It’s nice to find out that I am not alone. I just wish that all of us had an option. It’s time we had a candidate who wouldn’t be afraid to not only show up at one of these rallies, but to give a speech as boldly as the business owner whose negative publicity affects his livelihood, the radio host who wasn’t afraid to call Global Warming a hoax, and the student who prayed to her God knowing that she has her public high school to return to tomorrow. Until then I guess we will continue our partisan game-playing while our politicians try to sell us on their dreams of re-election.

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