FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010
What would a reasonable person do after the government spends $787 billion of their hard-earned money? An estimated one million Americans answered that question by getting off the couch and demonstrating their discontent at Tea Party protests across America. It is because of this patriotic spirit that we honor these grassroots activists as our “Person of the Year.”
It’s pretty clear by now that the stimulus package didn’t really stimulate anything except outrage. Even more remarkable was that the people attending the rallies were not the usual suspects. They didn’t have ready-made cardboard signs in the garage and they weren’t used to the whole protest scene. But, because they felt great passion at the disconnect between America and its government, they went out and stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow citizens and showed Washington what “we the people” really look like. I think history will show that the 2009 Tea Parties were the beginning of a Refounding that brought America back from the progressive abyss.
Many protestors hit a tipping point when they began to see the staggering spending our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never be able to crawl out from under. People started talking to neighbors, friends, and friends of friends…and the numbers grew.
The Tea Parties were a great awakening because there has been a storm of discontent brewing for quite some time now. Republicans seem to be abandoning conservative principles, Democrats are pushing socialist policies and no one sent to Washington appears to remember they are there to represent the people. These so-called representatives also seem to have forgotten that, when they spend money, it’s not Monopoly money—it’s real money coming from someone’s paycheck. If the Tea Party attendees said anything, it was We are not checkbooks; we are human beings.
The mainstream media didn’t get what all these people were upset about and, no surprise, didn’t bother to find
out. But it isn’t rocket science. It’s not about donkeys or elephants, it’s about fiscal and individual responsibility. Being asked to accept an almost total makeover of the values upon which America was founded, on top of reckless spending, does not go down easily. It’s inspiring to see that people are paying attention and are willing to make their voices heard. This is how real change will happen.
For speaking out, protestors were called every name in the book. The media, Hollywood, and even members of the Obama administration labeled them as partisan, racist, extremist rednecks. Remember, for the last eight years we’ve been told that exercising one’s freedom of speech is honorable and vital to earnest debate…but only if you’re part of the liberal elite. Citizens of flyover states aren’t supposed to have a voice. They aren’t Ivy League, they’re not coastal, and they don’t summer in the Hamptons, so they were discredited, denigrated, mocked, and dismissed. Anti-war groups can show up at a soldier’s funeral to harass the grieving family and any actor with a microphone can accuse George W. Bush of war crimes, but criticizing President Obama’s policies at a peaceful rally while wearing a flag pin is apparently over the line.
The Tea Party Activists are vitally important because they represent the engine that runs our nation. America thrives because people get up and work every day to create, inspire, educate, transport, manufacture, heal, develop and learn. We the people are the core of this country; the foundation of her success. Our representatives cocoon themselves in the bubble of Washington and forget there are miles and miles of America outside the Beltway that they are supposed to be representing. America doesn’t function because out of touch politicians sit in the Capitol and squabble over language in a 2,000-page bill. We the people make America function.
We honor the Tea Party Activists for making the first great rumblings toward America’s brighter future. They reminded us that we aren’t powerless in this fight. We can take back America, one community at a time. We can hold politicians responsible and we can ask questions, the most important one being, “If I don’t save my country, who will?”
FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010