Well, we all had a good time at our local Tea Parties, right? I saw some nifty signs, great costumes, and good t-shirts. We all listened to some speakers tell us what we already knew, got some new bumper stickers, and are feeling pretty darned good about ourselves because we “did something.”
The question we have to ask ourselves now is: “Now what?”
In case you haven’t noticed, nothing has changed since 4/14/09. The same unConstitutional laws are still on the books and being enforced. The same unConstitutional taxes are being extracted from us by force. We are still spending billions of dollars (and thousands of lives) on an unConstitutional war. Local SWAT teams are still armed and dressed like a crack SS unit, and they still breaking down doors (sometimes, even the right door) to enforce unConstitutional laws.
For some reason, it doesn’t seem like our one-day party changed much.
Maybe it’s because all of the party organizers got all the right permits beforehand (got the King’s permission). Maybe those groups who got fined for “polluting” when they dumped tea in the rivers and lakes have all paid their fines. Maybe it’s because all of the party-goers were so thoughtful and kind that no traffic was obstructed and no hallways were clogged by protesters at statehouses around the country. In short, maybe we were too polite. Maybe, by getting our permits and paying our fines, we are showing the tyrants that we are willing to submit to whatever restrictions they place on us – even those limiting our free speech! What would be our situation if the protesters at the REAL tea party had asked King George for his permission first?
What do we expect to have changed from our one-day event? Now that it is over, the media hype has died down, the statist pundits have had their fun trying to marginalize anyone who dares to object to any government program. Those in government can relax, knowing that they will never again hear from 99% of the people who participated, and that if they offer a few sound bites before the next election, most of those people will still vote for them and they will be re-elected.
Those in government know that most of us will go back to watching Americans Idle, and most won’t lift a finger to put any pressure on government officials. Legislators know that they can pretty much do anything they want, and the vast majority of the American public won’t even KNOW, unless the government-sanctioned media shines a light on it, which is unlikely. They know from experience that there are few citizens who will take the time to read the bills introduced; fewer still will make the effort to watch the legislature, either in person, or on CSPAN (or the local equivalent). The few mass mailings of form letters they get from special interest groups can be easily ignored – unless of course, they happen to agree with the position of the legislator, in which case they will be heralded as “proof” that ‘something needs to be done.’ Individual handwritten letters will only be scanned for keywords, and a form letter reply will be mailed back to the citizen, and half the time the keyword scanner will get it completely wrong. Your letter will simply be marked into either the “for” or “against” column for a particular bill.
What if a certain number of people showed up at their state house nearly every day, without warning? What if they refused to leave until their “representative” listened to their grievance, AND reasons? On “Tea Party Day,” everyone knew exactly when citizens would be there, and so it was possible to simply be “out of the office” during those hours? What if every day, as they drove to their office (which is really OUR office), they wondered how many people would be in the waiting room, in the halls, on the sidewalks, and waiting on the phone? Do you think it would be harder for them to put us out of their mind on a daily basis?
As long as they continue to ignore us, they will just do as they please – which is to increase their power and keep their job. When they find out that people are watching what they do, and that people CARE, maybe they will think twice before succumbing to lobbyists and special interest groups.
Are we a “special interest group?” You bet! Our interests are the Constitution, rule of law, and the resulting liberty.
Don’t let them forget it.