Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So they say I'm a radical.

People had tea bags pinned to their clothing. Small flags waved. I saw Harley t-shirts, American Legion caps, cowboy boots and designer handbags. The faces were unfamiliar, but I felt like I'd known them all my life.

Retired couples stood hand in hand, some of them settled on park benches. Moms brought their young children. Citizens of all ages and backgrounds stood in front of our county's courthouse for our local TEA Party, proclaiming protests and holding homemade signs. The phrases were all different but the messages were the same.

Listen up, Big Brother. We the People are not happy.

Someone took the stage- a trailer of hay bales parked behind a GM pick-up truck.

We prayed. Right there. In front of a government building.

Then a man stood and led us all in the pledge of allegiance to our flag. Men removed their hats, we placed our hands on our hearts, and joined together in a sacred promise. My country's flag waved in the New Mexico wind and it was in that moment that I knew I was part of something. Something big. Something small, but something.

Speakers began to take the mic.

No more big spending.

We're taxed enough.

Stop signing bills you haven't read.

I've paid my taxes, Congressman. Have you?

We signed petitions. We wrote messages to Washington with Sharpie pens on massive posters.

Not a single person burned a flag or a bra or a poster of a public figure. No one yelled obscenities (not that I heard.) People were opinionated, very opinionated. People spoke with passion but no one was violent or obscene.

No one was anti-American.

Instead, they spoke against the path their country is on, the methods their government is using and the arrogance their officials display. Someone quoted Reagan, then Jefferson, then Lincoln. We clapped and cheered. Some of us even hooted and hollered.

It was a protest against big government spending. It was a demonstration for so much more- for freedom, capitalism, fair taxation, life, liberty, fiscal responsibility, our troops, our veterans, our children, and our future.

Within an hour, the rally was over. I left with a new spring in my step. I am not alone. There are people out there who think like me, who still believe in their country even when they are disappointed in their country's leadership.

This entire post is probably sounding a bit sappy but there's really no other way to share this. I'm just being honest.

This morning there are bloggers and reporters who want you to believe that the majority of the protesters at these TEA Parties were irrational and dangerous. I am sure that there were some out there who acted inappropriately, but I think they are the small minority.

I'm glad that there are still people who are willing to stand up for something. Today I made a promise to myself, to my own child and to my country, to stand with them.

If that makes me a radical, or just plain nuts, so be it. Besides, I didn't need Homeland Security to tell me I'm nuts. I already knew that.

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson


fuzzytop said...

Amen! Hubs and I watched the tea parties on Fox News, and for the first time in many months, we felt optimistic for the future of this country.

Thanks Melanie!


joeybelle said...

New to your blog - LOVED what you had to say - I think it was a perfect depiction of the true events of yesterday. Love your honesty!

Elizabeth said...

We prayed. Right there. In front of a government building.

My favorite sentence of the whole post. Something we should all do more frequently!

R said...

hi there! found this post through BooMama.

i'm so glad you were able to go to your local tea party! ours started at 5pm, but we had ballet class. i SO wanted to take my girls! and at our local one, the TX Govnernor and our city's US Rep. were the speakers. i could kick myself for not being there and getting photos of my girls with them!

loved this post. LOVED it!

Grams said...

I found your post via Boo Mama. There ARE many of us out here and we do need to get up and out and make our voices heard. And if tea parties/peaceful demonstrations are what it takes then so be it. It's time to get this great land's priorities straight and the politicians are not going to do it.

Vail in MS

Cathy said...

Hi there, I found you via Boo Mama as well, but need to tell you that I will stand with you and all those patriots...perhaps a movement has begun, finally!
Cathy in NC

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Very cool. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Mary Lou said...

I sure hope this is not the end of our voices being heard. We need to pray that someone will organize this and get something more started. I didn't get to go to the local rally, did send my two tea tags to the White House...not tea bags as they wouldn't have let that go thru the mail. You said everything correctly...the main stream wants us to be quiet and will not tell the truth....thanks for telling the truth.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Preach on, Sister!

Ranelle said...

I went to one near our home. There were probably between 200-300 people there, and it was awesome. We got to pray, say the Pledge, sing the national anthem and God Bless American. And there was no hatefulness or viciousness, just people who care about what's happening to their country. One of my favorite parts was when they acknowledged there were local politicians in the crowd, but they didn't invite them to speak! They actually listened for a change!

Roxanne said...

Excellent. . .excellent. . .excellent. My in-laws went to one in Houston.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

You have perfectly captured the spirit of the Tea Parties. Well done!

My husband and I took our 8 and 13 year-old girls to the Tea Party at our State Capitol. We had a very similar experience! It was lovely and inspiring. How nice to know we aren't alone.

I just added you to my Google Reader...and just like that, We're Friends!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for sharing the post. I am new to your blog...but so enjoyed reading it tonight. Hope you will stop by and visit me.

Ann said...

Way to go Mel!! We have a great country...We (at least for now) have the right to voice our opinions and you've done a great job! Thanks for being a part of history!
I didn't go...although I really wanted to but decided I needed to use my time for things at home that have been being neglected (my health and working on my own taxes)! I'm looking forward to the next one...I'm going to that one...I feel like I've really missed out on something great!

BizzieLizzie said...

Amen Sista! I was not able to attend ours, but I was so excited for my friends that stood up and thanked them profusely - like yours - it was calm, cool and collected!

"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything!" Malcolm-X

sprymary said...

Beatifully written. I'm so proud of you!

Melanie said...

Wonderful! Wonderful! I am late reading it and late posting but it was wonderfully written. You said it beautifully and I agree with every word!