So here we are, post tea parties…for now. More are coming, of that I have no doubt. Since that’s the case, I wanted to offer a few of my own personal observations on this amazing event.
First, there’s a lot of people asking “where were you when Bush was pushing for TARP?” First, I’d like answer that I was in the exact same place. I had the opportunity to speak at the Albany Tea Party. Speakers focused on different things, but I focused on bailouts of banks, car companies, and people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. Obama didn’t cause this crisis, that I’ll agree with 100%. However, his policies aren’t going to end it either.
A great number of people at the Albany Tea Party made a point of saying that BOTH parties up in Washington were responsible for the mess we’re in. And no, these weren’t just Libertarians. These were people from various walks of life and political affiliations. They were just as sick of the spending as I am, and I’m thrilled to have them as allies.
There’s been a lot of talk about Republicans co-opting the tea parties as a way to try and build back momentum. Here’s the thing to keep in mind. Tax protestors are now energized. We’ve been part of something beyond my imagination just a few months ago. There have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 tea parties in the United States today. Never in my life have so many locales coordinated in protest. My mother, who vividly remembers the civil rights marches and anti-war protests of the 1960’s can’t either. 3,000 different places.
My point is, so what if Republicans tried to co-opt the message. All over the place, people were focusing on the message of taxation and spending, rather than partisan BS. Republicans can try and hijack the message, and they’ll fail. We Libertarians are the largest party in the United States that had nothing at all to do with this mess, and that will come out in time.
As for the allegations of funding for the tea parties from wealthy Repubicans, I’m looking forward to the check for my speaking fee! (this bit blatantly ripped off from another speaker at the Albany tea party). However, I don’t think I’ll ever see a dime from it, and I’m very OK with that.
Regardless of the backstory, something amazing happened today. A coordinated protest the likes of which we’ve never seen took place. People from all walks of life gathered to be heard. The quesion is, does anyone in Washington even care?