Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Tea Partier's Rallying Cry

It was completely a spur of the moment decision, but remember a couple weeks back when those Tea Party rallies were happening all over the country? I decided to attend one. I have had mixed feelings about the movement, and I wasn’t overly happy to discover that they take almost no stances on any moral issue. The only things they are united on are their desire for lower taxes and less government.

For whatever reason, I was watching the most boring television program on FoxNews: Greta Van Sustren’s hour-long segment, and for the first time in a long time she caught my attention. I mean she really caught my attention. She was talking about the Tea Party rallies that would be happening (this was the day before April 15th), about the President’s health care bill, and how the Federal government will increase the tax bracket. 10pm being way past my bedtime, I stayed up well past 11pm watching the program and trying to mentally sort out some political issues.

Tax Day was one of my days off that week, so once I woke up and saw live footage of Tea Party rallies around the nation, I knew I had to see what they were all about. The one held in the East Valley was at Freestone Park in Gilbert, which was all of 2 miles away. Parking was a nightmare until the police designated a nearby field as a parking lot =). People were showing up in droves, and the atmosphere was electric. I heard people talking about their outrage for the ever-expanding growth of government and how this is an encroachment of their rights. Of course, there were uber-libertarians present as well, opposed to 99.9% of government functions – I don’t fit this category, mainly because there are certain things I believe government is responsible for: protecting her citizens and securing our liberties.

Dozens upon dozens of speakers were given an opportunity to briefly promote their Tea Party group, and I heard a variety of opinions about government, tax policy, health insurance, and a few moral issues. Overall, the one thing that was abundantly clear about the movement’s goals: fewer taxes and less government = more freedom and liberty. Having thought of Tea Partiers for years as Ron Paul radicals, it was a pleasant surprise to find thousands of normal people all with the same goal.

The event was unfolding with a relative calm until the one (yes, only one) protestor showed up. I kid you not, the very moment he started loudly booing, he was encircled by dozens of people angry at his disruption. Hoping that the poor guy wouldn’t get killed for his foolishness, I stepped in to shake his hand and hear him out. We had a fairly decent conversation about the purpose of government, capitalism vs. socialism, morality and worldviews, and then religion. We exchanged email addresses to further our conversation. I’ll let you know if anything comes of it.

At one point during the rally I was getting bored, hot and tired, so I began making my way back towards Leia II. Once I reached the parking lot, a nice-looking suburban stops in front of me and out steps J.D. Hayworth (running for Senate)! I stood there for a moment, probably looking a bit dumbfounded, pointed to him and said, “J.D.?” He came over, shook my hand and asked my name. He then invited me to walk with him into the rally. In the midst of our very general and brief conversation, I managed to say to him that I was glad he was running and that “I’m not 100% sure who I’ll be voting for, but definitely not McCain!” He laughed.

A friend at church made a suggestion that I may take: somehow helping J.D. Hayworth’s election campaign. I have a strong desire to do something to help the Republicans and put a stop to the rapid expansion of government started by President Obama and the Democratic Party.

On a related note … the information that initially caught my attention on Greta Van Sustren’s show was a discussion of how much the average middle-class American’s tax bracket will increase if Obama gets his way. Right now it is sitting at 35%, that is, until the Bush tax cuts Obama didn’t renew expire. From that simple action alone the tax bracket will be raised to 41%. Obamacare was signed into law but hasn’t taken effect yet. Once the bill and program begins to need funding this will add anywhere from 12-16% in taxes. This is guestimated by considering most European nations that have a government insurance program. Even if we go with the lowest number of 12%, this raises the tax bracket of the average middle-class citizen from 35% to 53%! I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. This kind of FDR / Jimmy Carter policy is just too much government. I would go a step further and say that even 35% is too much.

The desire for the state to gain more power is never ending, and must be kept in check at every turn to keep government in its place. The fact of the matter is, with the right kinds of reform government insurance is unnecessary. In fact, public education is unnecessary. How can I say this? Think about it: what did people ever do before the government provided insurance for them? Weeell, they purchased insurance on their own. Or, what did people do before government-run schools? Were Americans uneducated? Actually, the private schools in the United States were considered the best in the world, at one time. Charter schools are a step in the right direction, but really, the Department of Education is utterly unnecessary. Who is the government to define what an education is and is not anyway? Americans want to be educated, and we don’t need the government to coerce them to receive one. The benefits to finding a job require people to get one. But I’m straying a bit off topic; surely the reader gets my meaning.

I’ll conclude with this: the November elections are approaching, and with them I hope many career politicians are voted out of office. Only then will real and effective change begin to happen. This election is so critical because with enough Republicans and conservatives we can either overturn Obamacare and/or cut its funding. One way or the other, the American people have spoken: no Obamacare, and more liberty to make personal decisions. Hard to argue with that, especially in light of the Bill of Rights.

Thanks for reading,

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