Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party

I have a lot of impressions and thoughts about the Tea Party Protests. The people attending were indeed a mixed bag, a good cross section of people. The things I sensed was obviously anger. That was well voiced in shouts and heated debate. The other thing was a belief in America and its traditions. More subtle, and underlying it lay a fear.

Yes FEAR. Perhaps that is too strong a word, but I think in varying degrees fear was the underlying emotion. Not fear of the loss of our freedom; but the loss of our individual freedoms. I don’t want to put into too complete a box what all this fear is; it is too vague and nebulous for that.

click on pics to enlarge.

I talked to a mother with some children who came to the Lansing Tea Party.

She was apprehensive (fearful) for her lovely children. She was worried that the America she knew would not be there for them. As parents we have to plan for the worse, and then hopefully be happy when it doesn’t happen. I think the vague fear underlying the protests had to do with the idea that the worse could be happening now.

BTW 5,000 showed up at the Lansing Tea Party.

I felt people had the vague sense that we have reached the tipping point in government and its control over our lives. I sensed as I haven’t in the past, a sense of urgency about doing something about that; the idea that we have to do something about that and soon; or we may lose the option of peacefull recourse.

We know and the articles are out there in the media and on the net are numerous about all the huge government increases into what used to be the public sector. Most of the articles have to do with business and bailouts and the like. The fear I’m talking about is found after reading the likes of the following article.


I had blogged early on about Obama’s hope for this very thing. He long ago referred to it as a domestic force. Funded as much as the Military. He felt it was a good way to get poor people involved and working for the government. The whole idea is so anti everything I believe in that I found it reassuring there were others who think similar to me.

The whole concept of non-profit organizations has become so corrupted and then to add that type of thing is beyond what I can tolerate. That to me is the tipping point between individual freedom and socialism.

The above was an illustration of an example of the fear people have of not only increased spending but the agenda behind that increase. They don't like the idea of increased taxes but more than that they fear the reason for that increase is increase the government’s control of their lives and the resulting loss of their freedoms.

Mike Rogers (R-MI) when introducing Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) at a non-tea party event in Michigan later that evening alluded to this when he said the following about this power grab by the Obama administration; “we expected to change direction, not the Country”.

The reporting on the Tea Party thing, has been all over the place in the media. The media for the most part has labeled this as a right wing extremist thing. That is far from the mark. I saw parents worried about their children, working folks worried about their jobs and families, young kids wondering what the world will be like in 10 years.

In short I saw people that liked America and what it has stood for and angry at those who constantly put down this country. They too felt frustration in the idea that they have been stopped so many times from trying themselves to fix their corner of the world. All the regulation on home improvement to starting a business has added to this building frustration. The public knows they can do it; they have in the past. We also know the government can’t because they haven’t in the past.

Ronald Kessler for Newsmax interviewed Grover Norquist (a true conservative btw) a day before the Tea Parties and Grover claimed there were going to be 2,000 parties across the country. Most of the media claim 300. In Michigan they say anywhere from 10-20. I’ve researched and found over 40 in Michigan. I keep finding ones in little towns I never heard of and that weren’t on any of the national lists I’ve seen. It would be impossible to get an accurate count nationwide, but Norquist is closer to the mark.


I went to one in Jackson at 6pm after the noon one in Lansing, and I found out that Jackson had another one at Rives Junction at noon also. At least 50 showed up there.

Rives Junction wasn’t on any list. These people weren’t radicals either, bent on destruction. They were an older couple who decided to have one in front of their house. They simply wanted a voice – a voice that would be heard above all the special interest groups, and I might add National Parties.

I might add also they were for the most part the silent majority that is normally subdued and not into politics. This Tea Party thing gave them a chance to voice their opinions and frustrations.

In the days to come, all the parties and special interest groups will try to capitalize on this. That’s life, but if the people can remember their voice, perhaps they too will remember that they have the freedom and new found strength to pick who they want to listen too.

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