Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let's have a party!

Across the nation, in about 800 cities and towns, Americans are starting a new grassroots revolution. Like "tea partiers" of old, these Americans are trying to raise awareness about issues that affect them, and all of us, both directly and profoundly.

I first heard about the tea parties a few weeks ago, and didn't think much of them. They didn't seem to get much press, and I didn't feel that I should exert too much effort learning about them and their issues. As time passed, though, I realized that their issues are mine, as well. Now, as "the day" has come, I couldn't be happier to learn that their movement has grown so large and spread so far.

The tea partiers are working to remind Washington of the anger and outrage over the government's use of our tax dollars. While the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against taxation without representation, these tea parties are protests against government bailouts, massive spending under both recent administrations, and the president's proposed budget for the coming years.

While most of the protesters are Republicans and they are led by conservative "stars" such as Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto and conservative radio and television host Sean Hannity, there are plenty of non-Republican participants as well. One protester in an interview said "We're not Republicans or Democrats here; we're Americans".

I, for one, have opposed the very idea of bailouts from almost before the economy started to decline. For the United States government to inject hundreds of billions of tax dollars in failing companies, some of which seem on the verge of failure all the same, has been an enormous mistake in my opinion. On top of that, the new Congress and the new president have rushed multiple multi-billion-dollar spending bills in the few short months since the Inauguration. Now, the president's proposed budget has the potential to create trillion-dollar deficits for decades to come. Behind all that is the expansion of government powers under the justification that it is "necessary" to rescue the ailing economy.

Detractors of the tea parties claim that the anger is baseless, or that it isn't true "grassroots", or that the protesters have no idea what they're talking about. I say, for everyone who has wished that the government would finally listen to what they have to say, these tea parties are a genuine, legitimate expression of outrage and opposition. Too long have we all felt like we didn't have a voice and that no one paid attention to us. I say, this is exactly the time for all Americans who oppose government interference in the free market system and the use of our tax dollars for programs to which we fundamentally object. Nothing could be more democratic, I feel, or indeed more patriotic.

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