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April 27, 2009

Freedom: What the Tea Parties Are All About


Most Americans understand the significance of the Tea Party movement. In fact, recent polling shows that the majority of Americans view the tea parties favorably. Yet there remain certain segments of America – such as CNN and MSNBC anchors whose desperate minds can only rationalize the events in sexual terms as they fight for a distant second in the cable news race – that don’t seem to comprehend why over 500,000 people took to the streets on April 15.


Hence this public service column: In an insufficient few hundred words, I will explain to my liberal friends what the tea parties represent, and why we support them.


God (or, if you prefer, Barack Obama’s retroactive influence) created free men. After thousands of years of experimenting with their societies throughout the world, they finally managed to get it right in a land called America. Triggered in great part by the Boston Tea Party, they overthrew a government that dominated their lives, deciding to form just enough of a government to enforce contracts, build roads, resist crime and fight off foreign threats. They were free men who delegated a small amount of their power to government in order to protect the freedom they valued to the death.


But somewhere along the way, the freest country in the world began to falter. Instead of enforcing contracts, the government started writing them. Instead of building roads, it began building gargantuan social experiments that transferred wealth and created dependency. And instead of resisting crime, it created corruption among politicians.


In the process, the government has forcefully taken away more power, wealth and freedom from Americans who are now seeing the America of 1776 slipping away in front of their eyes.


Thus, because the principles on which the country was founded were intended to be permanent, tea partying Americans do not approve of paying a third of their income to the government. They do not approve of politicians chasing popularity by forcefully taking fruits of labor from the few and giving it to the numerous. They do not approve of a government that tells them what they can eat, whether they can smoke or with whom they can make contracts. And they do not approve of a government that is putting them trillions of dollars in debt simply because its politicians know they'll be gone when it’s time to settle up.


There are around 190 countries in the world where such big government madness has been running rampant. But this is exactly why America is a nation of immigrants. With the exception of slaves and their progeny, virtually every single American came or is a descendant of someone who came to the United States precisely to escape worse conditions in these other countries.


And having been born in a country where freedom was a theory, I too came to America for liberty. So if America becomes like the countries from which we escaped in the first place, where are we supposed to go next?


The socialists can always find a home in Europe, the theocrats in the Middle East. The monarchists and communists still have reliable options throughout the world. Big government is plentifully available in every flavor. But where would a hard-working, reward-seeking, free-willed American go if America discouraged hard work, eliminated rewards and eradicated choices? There is no other country that embraces such principles, and it is why America has been, by just about every measure, the greatest country in the world.


People from around the globe have coalesced in America not because she grants them freedom – but because she does not infringe on the freedom given to every person by God and nature. Yet now that this liberty is being infringed upon by the same government designed to protect it, we cannot acquiesce through silence.


Men and women of all ages, many of whom had never participated in a protest before, made creative signs, took time off of work and school and joined tea parties that simply asked the government to stay out of their lives and pocketbooks. They didn’t demand political favors, and didn’t blindly embrace deceitful politicians. (It was seldom reported that several big-government Republican politicians were fervently booed purely for being present at the parties). And though hundreds of thousands attended nearly 1,000 protests, there were zero serious disruptions – almost a statistical impossibility considering the sheer number of people involved.


And this is what the tea parties are all about. We want to return government to a minimal structure that merely protects our inherent freedoms from encroachment. We want to rediscover the same free market and capitalism that has made America the most prosperous, the most innovative and the most dependable land of opportunity in the entire history of the globe.


And in an era where our principles are considered potentially terroristic by the same government that we created based on these principles, our protests are as indispensable as ever – and our quietude as destructive as ever.

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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