Saturday, July 11, 2009

We Behave Even When We (Tea) Party

Maybe I should forward my pictures from Buffalo’s Independence Day Tea Party to the Department of Homeland Security. It wouldn’t be to help them save time when compiling Janet Napolitano’s Personal Enemies List: it’s more of a preemptive move against those who brand us as radicals for thinking the government shouldn’t be buying lots of stuff. If they’re still fretting about the seething rage among righties, we may as well make the case that attendees are as typical as zealots get.

We held a standard Tea Party. Specifically, a few hundred of us spent an hour or two listening to enthusiastic limited-government speakers while assembled in front of our majestic Art Deco City Hall. It was basically similar to other events across the nation: we were mostly like everyone else everywhere else.

That said, we face particularly onerous burdens based on where we are. Notably, we are subject to income tax for the privilege of living in the Empire State, a risible 8.75 percent sales tax in Erie County, and astoundingly high property tax rates that cost some homeowners more than their mortgages. We have to chant to ourselves, religious mantra-style, the ample benefits of living here just to keep from calling U-Haul.

We’re mostly upset because it’s unnecessary to take all that’s taken from us. There are innumerable examples of obviously genuine waste. But even worthwhile organizations should be funded by private citizens choosing to spend their money on them. Philharmonics, art galleries, and pro sports teams are all significant and wonderful assets, which means that people should be willing to spend their own money in support. If we benefit from them, we don’t need a government mandate to fund them.

Our party also featured the same extremists who criticize the educational system for its astounding expenditure per mediocre student. On a national level, count us among the disaffected reactionaries who think banks and car companies that run themselves into the ground can either dig themselves out or stay there. Barack Obama’s take on the free market is strangely expensive.

Tea fanatics also maintain that the government isn’t obligated to care for our fitness. Lost in the analysis of health care costs is the broader truth that it’s an individual’s duty to maintain his or her self. Simultaneously, we realize that doctors, hospitals, and the rest of us will always step up to help those in need; the true cynics are those who hold that charity only works when forced.

We’re also the same lunatics who oppose cap and trade simply because it will destroy the economy and attempt to force us to use limp power sources for the sake of not having any effect on the environment at all. Of course, the bill will only affect people and industries that use energy, so it’s not as if its consequences will be far-reaching.

In that regard, our foes don’t know history, or at least not our history. They don’t simply oppose distinctively American concepts like personal reliability and being left the hell alone; they don’t even realize that they’re valid options. They’re unable to get around the answer to the question that, if the government won’t attend to the details, who will?

On the other hand, the Tea Party gave us a chance to flaunt our historical knowledge, and not just because we used our First Amendment rights to stand up for our Tenth Amendment ones. For one, judging by the quantity of rattlesnake-clad flags being waved, we clearly know who Revolutionary bad-ass Christopher Gadsden was.

Plus, someone in the crowd at Buffalo’s Niagara Square was proudly flying a Green Mountain Boys flag. The green standard with 13 stars in a blue corner field would probably be misconstrued to be Mother Earth’s ensign by our commie hippie friends. It’s a mistake that would be made by the same types who only know of Ethan Allen as a fancy furniture builder.

By the same measure, John Hancock and Sam Adams would have been branded militant nuts today, but only by those who recognize the names. They would be hassled by dinosaurs like The New York Times and evening network newscasts along with newer reptilian incarnations on the web. The only thing worse would be that others would sadly find themselves unfamiliar with the heroes. For one, JoJo Biden would be confused as to why a financial guy and brewer, respectively, were being treated as menaces.

With that in mind, I’ll hold back and instead make those at DHS keep looking for the pictures of my individualistic comrades and me. They can stumble to if they’re really interested in seeing how we amassed and occasionally cheered as we behaved. Alternately, the feds can search for photos posted by one of the numerous other normal diehards based in a plethora of other cities.

It’ll be good for those keeping an eye on us: they can learn what we already know, namely that we just want to keep more of what we make. If we’re the biggest threat to security, consider this nation blessed. That was just another reason to have spent the rest of the Fourth celebrating.

Anthony Bialy is a freelance writer and "Red Eye" Conservative in Western New York.


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mjeror said...

We also had a july 4th tea party in Rome N.Y. We had a great turn out in spite of the bad weather. no sunshine patriots here. Our speakers spoke on the Fed, cap and trade, health care (a canadian spoke on this), apathy, how to run for office, taxes, and many other topics. We had 14 speakers. We had ours on the green at city hall. The mayor and city were very supportive. It does seem that the press did not cover the events very well. I think we need to crank up the noise and get noticed. you can check ours out on you tube 13440patriots.

Anonymous said...

As a liberal, I am always open to listening to the views of other political persuasions. Which is one of the reasons that I comment on this blog.

However, it has been extremely difficult to ascertain the motivations of the Tea Party participants, and what I have heard was either absurdly incorrect, overtly racist, and hate mongering. In other words it more closely resembled a KKK meeting that a political rally.

There are people willing to listen to your ideas, but the mixture that is now trendy at these events give us pause. If you can not understand the concern then you have blinders on. These rallies have attracted too many fringe elements and talking points to be valid to mainstream media hence their lack of coverage.

Drop the hate, bone up on some facts, focus on your message, and people will listen. Continue the hateful scattershot process that has become typical for these Right winged fares, and get ignored.

It really is as simple as that. Oh and please call me out to provide you with some links about what the heck I'm talking about. You seem to visit YouTube there are plenty there to offend most Americans.

Clean it up people.
Rick Beagle

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