I attended two April 15th Tax Day protest rallies yesterday, surprising even myself. The first (photos above and below) was during lunch hour at a small town square, attended by about 400-500 very patriotic, very well-behaved, very (quietly, civilly) angry people of all ages, from babes-in-arms to many elderly white-haired seniors, including an impressive phalanx of veterans from WWII and more recent wars who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. All of us proudly claimed the name of "right-wing extremists" exercising our rights with a deafening cheer. The honking from the passing traffic responding to our protest signs was energetic and encouraging.
The second rally I attended, with friends and my teenaged son, was reportedly one of the bigger crowds gathered among the 800 protests yesterday. I am congenitally allergic to crowds, but I felt the sacrifice was worth the effort, and so it was. As I told my son, showing up to swell a crowd with one more warm body is the very lowest form of patriotism, but sometimes even that is necessary.
My sign: "Limit politicians not prosperity." On the flip side: "Bailouts are for losers."
My son's sign: "Greedy politicians stole my future."
I saw a lot of families with teens and children there. In fact, I saw ordinary, middle-class working Americans and their families there, the kind of people our political leaders claim to want to represent, protect, and look out for.
Since I went to high school and college in the late 1960's and early 1970's, it felt decidedly weird to now be in my 50's and taking my son to his first protest rally. How things have changed in our country that this has now become a possibility, let alone a necessity.
Yet yesterday's protests were totally unlike the stereotypical protests I watched while I was in college or living in San Francisco (with screaming, out-of-control hatred displayed by hormone-soaked anarchists and anti-Americans, carefully schooled in street theater and civil disobedience, throwing and breaking things, targeting the cops, and shouting obscenities).
Yesterday's grassroots protests were like an all-America-loving, Fourth of July celebration. Bonds were formed that will bear future fruit. Patriotism and love of country was rampant yesterday--along with a lack of faith in our politicians and a deep concern for where they are taking our country. This is an amazing and crucial distinction. Our country has never seen anything like what happened yesterday.
Let's hope yesterday will be the new start of some much better governance in our deserving country than what we've been suffering under for way too long. Let's hope some people who want to hide their heads, or protect their little fiefdoms (of money, power, prestige, or intellectual gravitas) at the expense of the American people will finally start to hear a new message calling for some real change and will decide to listen, understand, and join us.
Some tax day tea party photos here.
The supposed cluelessness of President Obama (not a politically profitable stance for him to persist in).
John Boehner happened to sum up my motivation pretty well:
"They've had enough of Democrats forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending instead of working together to make the tough fiscal decisions Americans are forced to make each and every day. They've had enough of seeing their hard-earned tax dollars wasted on pork-barrel spending that won't create jobs, rebuild their savings, or get our economy moving again. And they've had enough of Congress and the White House mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future by saddling them with mountains of debt destined to bankrupt our country," Boehner said.
--except that you can add I've had enough of Republicans dodging real solutions and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending as well. I think it's about time to eliminate the corrupt power of our political elitist class of unaccountable and non-transparent overlords by abolishing the IRS, enacting the Fair Tax, and instituting term limits. One or two terms and get out and get a real job. And no government pension for you. It's public service, dammit, not a career of power
You see, I am not just angry and protesting, I am offering solutions. And there will be more to come from the American people awake to the needs of our country. Leaders and the media who wish to ignore this do so at their own peril.
UPDATE: More photos
of Tax Day "tea parties" around the U.S. The biggest, most "stimulative" grassroots uprising since the 1960's. It is the former Silent Majority no longer willing to stay silent.
UPDATE (read the whole thing
All those in the media had to do was read a few of the signs to "get it." The complaints were pretty straight forward: Stop the spending. Get out of our business. Let us keep more of the money we make. Stop the bailouts. For some reason such common sense concerns were beyond the comprehension of most of those reporting on the events....
(Via Maggie's Farm
Labels: Tax Day tea parties