April 16, 2009

Steve Pomper

Seattle Tea Party

author photoI hadn’t planned on writing about the Tea Party phenomenon, but after having attended one yesterday how can I not? I can’t remember ever having participated in a political protest (having worked the WTO protests not withstanding), over the course of my life despite being rather politically interested and active.


The fact that I’ve never attended a political protest isn’t all that unusual, many folks have not. However, the fact that my, until recently politically inactive to the point of rolling her eyes at my frequent invective hurling sessions at liberals on the TV news channels, wife also attended—in fact, I believe it was her idea.


We arrived at a sunny, but bordering on chilly, Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle at about 5 PM for the 5:45 PM Seattle Tea Party, one of a large number of Tea Parties held around the nation on April 15th, “Tax Day,” and named to honor—obviously—the one held in Boston in 1773. It should be noted that this national grassroots conflagration got its start right here in Seattle with a protest rally held in February, organized by the contagiously exuberant Keli Carender.  


The first person we met was a very nice woman of some years, but not too many, who sat out of place on a bench in the center of the mall. She told us this was the first protest she’d ever been to in her life. Appropriately for the theme of the rally, she sat adjacent a throng of dingy, non-producing, non-tax paying, young lay-abouts whose only enterprise was providing themselves with a reason to be embarrassed when they finally grow up and realize what losers they are…that is, if they ever do grow up.


The second observation was the number of signs we saw with the message: This is My First Protest. And I can add that there were even a greater number of people who, if I were to guess by demeanor and dress, fell into the “rookie” category.


Seattle’s was an animated rally considering the number of neophyte “rightwing radicals” (Isn’t that what NBC, CNN, and the other objective news media are calling us?), attending who hadn’t the first clue about how to behave at a protest. I certainly count myself among them, remaining rather subdued; when what I really wanted to do was to scream at the top of my lungs for our President and Congress to just, “STOP!”


 Mr. Obama and his congressional comrades shouldn’t dismiss this movement so easily. I don’t remember anything of the sort this early in last two Democratic President’s administrations. The president and the Democratic congress are totally annihilating any support and goodwill traditionally given a new president at the beginning of his term by his political opponents.


While his liberal/socialist base has held strong, after all his success is theirs, his support from moderate Democrats and Independents is waning, and any support from Republicans, Libertarians, as well as conservatives and libertarians has been decimated. If I recall correctly, there was another political leader who once dismissed a group of tax protesters as “radicals,” his name was King George III.


While I disagree that there is no difference between the two major parties, I admit that the difference is sadly minimal. The Obama administration and the Pelosi/Reid congress have wreaked their economic havoc without much, if any, Republican support. However, intellectually honest people have to ask, where was the mass Republican support for fiscal responsibility when they held the majority? Seems many Republicans are suddenly fiscally responsible because it’s suddenly a Democrat in the White House. It’s a damn shame that the Republicans wasted the chance Americans gave them to recapture Ronald Reagan’s vision of limited government, and instead grew government nearly as adeptly as any progressive Democrat could.


America’s greatest national hero, George Washington, the father of our nation, warned us against political parties—yet another reason to revere the man. You must look past the party to the man or woman, their message and their actions. (Incidentally, one of the strongest messages during the rally was a letter of support for the Tea Party from Washington state Auditor, Brian Sonntag.) If you ever wonder who’s political view is more valid consider this: This was a nation conceived in individual liberty; anyone who argues this fact is deluded. Just ask yourself which politician’s political track leaves you with the most freedom.


Most liberals espouse a desire for an America whose people languish in a regulatory quagmire and economic bondage. On the other hand, most conservatives and libertarians describe a country in which Americans have the liberty to peacefully pursue their happiness free from government interference. You may choose bondage, but I’ll choose liberty every time.


In America we only need one political party: American.





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