In the car, on the way to our local Tea Party, my kindergartner received a lesson in civics and our nation’s history. It was a follow up conversation on the one we had on Inauguration Day, about what it means to respect the office of president. Our country has always valued differing opinions and viewpoints, and it was never intended that everyone UNITE in agreement and then line up to follow the president (or federal government) like sheep. That “value” is contrary to the founding of this great nation, and seems to have simply materialized amidst the frenzied clamor for “change” of late.
I told him that when our country was founded 233 years ago, it was very important to our Founding Fathers that American citizens have freedom of speech and the ability to protest. In fact, it is a founding principle of this nation that people be able to speak out against the government when they disagree with what it is doing. It is not only our prerogative, but our responsibility as American citizens to stand up and speak out in defense of the Constitution and in protest when the government exceeds it’s bounds, no matter who currently holds the office of president…regarding not his party nor his personality.
This was the first organized protest I have ever attended. I’ve been to political rallies before, and I’ve called in to local radio shows on numerous occasions, and you certainly know that I do plenty of protesting here on this blog, but this “Tea Party” was definitely a new experience for me. And I will admit, I was a little apprehensive. The image of a “protest” that I have always had in my head is of radical lefties angrily shouting profanities, propagating lies and/or misconceptions, and blocking traffic and such. Though this negative and intimidating picture is surely not completely accurate of all protests, left or right, my recollection is that something close to that seems to have gone on with some frequency in the past.
The fact is that this was the epitome of a “peaceful protest.” Everyone was very courteous and well mannered, and no one was doing anything crazy. I wonder how these tea parties will be covered in the news? The DHS report that Obama’s administration just released labels people like us, like me, as “rightwing extremists” who are “primarily hate-oriented” and “mainly anti government.” I, and as far as I could tell…nobody, was protesting the institution of government today. We most certainly are not anarchists. We are troubled by the rapid and out of control growth of our already bloated federal government. We are also upset by the massive spending and new entitlements being pushed by the President. We support the Constitution and the principles on which this country was founded. What’s so extreme about that?
Afterward, I asked my son to tell me what we did today. He responded, “We telled people about the things we don’t like about Obama by showing our signs.” My four-year-old asked if Obama was going to “break” our country. I certainly hope not, although he is surely inflicting great harm upon it…changing it in deleterious ways that are dramatic to behold and will be difficult to reverse.
Click on the “Continue Reading” Tag for more pictures.
All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m glad I took the kids along.