For change that counts, it's tea party time
By Tania Ciolko
"Here, sir, the people govern, here they act by their immediate representatives."
Can we say that the words spoken centuries ago by Alexander Hamilton ring true in America today?
Prominent pollster Kellyanne Conway noted voters meant it when they voted for change this past election cycle. She further points out the voters themselves did not want to be change makers, instead delegating that responsibility to Barack Obama. Who can forget the iconic video of Peggy Joseph tearfully proclaiming that voting for Obama meant she would not have to work to pay her mortgage or gas bill?
An important lesson learned from the recent presidential election is that your vote has consequences. Whose vision of change included a $7.5 trillion spending spree that will financially burden our children and grandchildren? I strongly suspect the voters' idea of change did not encompass a commander-in-chief of GM's used car division.
These voters are now waking up to the cold reality of reckless spending, increased taxation and rewarding of unsound financial behavior by our immediate representatives.
In February, CNBC's Rick Santelli sounded the call for a Tea Party, and ordinary citizens responded by organizing tea parties across the nation. The "tea" being tossed around the country today is an acronym for "Taxed Enough Already."
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Tea Party in West Chester organized by the Pro Troop organization, American Sheepdogs. The event brought together nearly 400 citizens troubled by the irresponsible spending and the specter of oppressive taxation. The people I spoke with expressed a betrayal of their trust by Congress and a renewed sense of activism.
One woman admitted this was the first rally she has ever attended, and she was grateful to have the opportunity to express her concerns at a Tea Party. A pair of toddlers held signs that stated, "We are only 2 and 4 years old and we owe China $80,000 - Thanks to Congress."
The crowd was populated with everyday citizens who pay their taxes, bills and mortgages on time. They are not ones to frequent rallies of this kind, yet several hundred of them put down their silence and picked up a sign at the Tea Party in West Chester.
A talented DJ named Kalaya spun uplifting, patriotic music to entertain the crowd as they milled around with their homemade signs and American flags. A high point of the Tea Party featured speeches by local political officials and an impromptu speech by a passer-by named Alek.
State Rep. Curt Schroder, a Republican, spoke passionately on the bailout fiasco and the chill wind of an Employee Free Choice Act attack on the secret ballot.
U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican, detailed the reckless spending spree in Congress while ordinary Americans are tightening their own budgets. Alek had much to discuss regarding the devilish details of socialism. All in all, it was a well run event that was inspiring and cathartic to those who attended.
As the consequences of our November vote hits home, Americans are rediscovering their ownership of this nation.
According to the Tax Day Tea Party Web site, there were more than 500 confirmed Tea Parties set for April 15. If you have the opportunity to attend one in the future, please do so and be witness to a grass-roots movement that is sweeping the nation.
With any luck, one fine day I hope to say: "Here, sir, the people govern."