Tax Day Tea Parties - Start of Something Big
By Doug Edelman
April 20, 2009
April 15 is a date that has meaning to most everyone. "Tax Day." Or more correctly, the deadline by which Income Tax filing is due each year.
But this year it also took on a new significance. April 15 was the day that ordinary, common Americans took to the streets to give voice to their displeasure with massive unrestrained spending, insane bailouts, trillion dollar deficits for a decade, confiscatory taxation, unprecedented growth in the size and scope of government, and the march of socialism and wealth transfer.
Over 550,000 people turned out at one of hundreds of "Tea Parties" staged in all 50 states. Approximately one out of every 500 human beings in the nation attended such a protest. This is hardly an insignificant event, notwithstanding the mainstream media's reports to the contrary.
The Left-Loving media first sought to marginalize the Tea Party movement, calling the participants "Fringe Elements." Then they sought to mischaracterize them as partisan tools of the GOP. Some went so far as to compare them to Nazis. And in the final days preceding the event - a report from Homeland Security was released, intended to instill fear that attending such a protest put one at risk of being "watched" as a potential "Domestic Terrorist!" (Particularly egregious in that DHS report was the implication that returning veterans represented a potential threat. I personally find it fascinating that while we Conservatives HONOR our returning vets, the powers that be FEAR them!)
If any were deterred... there were over half a million un-deterred Americans who turned out to boldly proclaim their opposition to policies which they deem harmful to our republic.
As I wrote in my "Primer on the Tea Parties", these protests were NOT partisan, despite the best efforts of Michael Steele and the RNC to politicize them. It was almost amusing how the GOP came back burned when they were publicly rebuffed by the ACTUAL organizers.
Michael Steele attempted to co-opt the movement in a fund-raising effort for the GOP. He received STINGING rebukes from organizers.
Numerous GOP elected officials sought a stage to speak at the Tea Parties. Organizers refused, explaining that the event was NOT partisan and they wished to prevent its being politicized.
In St Louis, it was mentioned from the stage by one of the organizers that some elected officials ARGUED that they should be given a platform. But once denied, they didn't make an appearance to the event at all! In fact the only elected official that showed up was Congressman Todd Akin, who had never asked to take the stage. He was there simply to lend his personal support to the effort.
No, the Tax Day Tea Party movement is NOT organized by the GOP, by Dick Armey & Freedomworks, by Don Wildmon and the American Family Association, by the Constitution Party, by the National Socialists, or any other group. Taking inspiration from Santelli's Chicago Board of Trade rant, several bloggers started the popular movement via Facebook and Twitter!
In St Louis, local blogger Bill Hennessy contacted St Louis blogger, "vlogger" and local radio personality Dana Loesch following the Santelli rant about throwing together an ad-hoc "Tea Party" protest. Out went postings on Twitter and Facebook. A Facebook event page was posted. The event was planned for the St Louis Riverfront 5 days later on February 27.
Hennessy and Loesch initially anticipated a turnout of 50 or so committed individuals. They were thrilled when the Facebook Event Page listed over 250 confirmed attendees the day before the event. But even they were astounded when the turnout for the day topped 1,200 under the Arch in St Louis! It was the biggest "Tea Party" protest in the nation on that day.
They knew they had a movement started, which couldn't stop there. Dana Loesch of danaradio.com became one of the National Organizers for the April 15 "Tax Day Tea Party". She collaborated with Michael Patrick Leahy of tcotreport.com, Eric Odom of dontgomovement.com, and along with a few other blogger types, the planning began for the April 15 Nationwide Event.
They established an event page on Facebook, and along with their own Twitter and Facebook pages, their personal emails, and finally a website, www.taxdayteaparty.com.
Hundreds of motivated grassroots people around the country organized their own local events, coordinating thru the Facebook, Twitter and taxdayteaparty.com websites. It was a true grassroots effort.
The issues cut across party lines. There were Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Constitution Party members, Democrats and more all participating with a common purpose: To express to Washington that they have HAD IT with the unbridled tax and spend policies, growth of government's size and intrusion, and the threat to our rights and liberties that such a bloated government represents.
St Louisan Scott Ransom commented after the party: "We were "there," and wow, what an awesome crowd, right down to a person. There were some pierced-up Lefties standing right with me, and when I thanked them for being there, I swear one of them started to cry. She was SHOCKED. Fabulous gathering...wanna do it again like now."
Media coverage of the Tea Parties was largely dismissive. The media and those in Washington dismiss this movement at their peril. It is strong. It is committed. It cuts across the political spectrum. It is not going away. In fact, it will probably grow larger and more powerful by the time the next Tea Parties come around. Yes, there will be more! Get ready for the LIBERTY Tea Parties on July 4!