On April 15th, I attended the Tea Party at the Capitol Building of Jefferson City, MO. There had been some confusion regarding the event--apparently the larger event was on the 14th--but a sizable and robust crowd showed up anyway. I've got over an hour of video clips, both from actual speakers at the event, and of attendees that I managed to interview. (Turns out there's a technique to it!)
Some of the videos are posted below, but Blogger takes too long to load videos--so I've posted everything on a new YouTube Channel.
The Tea Party was a great experience, and I'm looking forward to attending another one in July. I met some great people, and heard some great ideas. That having been said, I have some thoughts for my fellow attendees:
There are two reasons that you might have attended such an event. The first is ask the government to give you back a few dollars on your paycheck. This is certainly a valid reason to have gone, but it isn't why I was there. I went to take back my freedom from a government that is ignoring the Constitution. If you also went there because you believe that the taxes are just a symptom, then you need to keep in mind other people's First Amendment rights:
The Freedom of Religion: I won't say that your politics shouldn't be informed by your religion. That is an idiotic statement made by people who have no idea what religion is. However, at the rally we had several Muslims and Native Americans who were there to support our fight for freedom... and several others that wanted to make the entire movement about Christianity.
Christianity is the greatest force for good that world has ever seen; Christianity can speak for itself. Freedom, however, cannot. Our Constitution does not establish Christianity as the American religion, nor does it establish us as a secular nation. We are a freely religious nation, and when you try to make this movement a statement of Christianity, you drive away many good people who could be our allies.
The Freedom of Speech: Do we need to hear from the opposition? No. We hear from the opposition everywhere, all the time. But remember, the whole purpose of Freedom of Speech is to protect speech you don't like. Standing in front of a Democrat to block his face, rushing up and pounding the podium, trying to shout him down--these are not the tactics of people who want freedom. These are the tactics--the VERY tactics--of Communists. They don't help us; they don't protect anyone from suddenly converting to liberalism. All they do is provide the media with a video clip of us being hateful to play rather than playing our ideas.
I went to the Tea Party to support freedom. I hope in the future, everyone else will remember that that's why they are there, as well.
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