First and foremost, I have never seen Police Officers so relaxed during a large scale protest of between 5000-10,000 individuals. From my location, which was along Broadway, State Troopers and other officers were largely smiling, happily discussing issues with protesters, and generally at ease. At no time did I notice that police were on edge, even during the peak of the protest when the crowd swelled and there was a lot of movement of a large amount of people. Namely, this can be attributed to the fact that conservative protesters were angry, but carried a gentile disposition. The left has labelled us as right-wing nuts for our protests - but reality would indicate that we were a group of intelligent, level headed citizens, wishing only to carry a clear message: Individual Responsibility is NOT Dead!
Signs present were vast, but there was one major message - stop government growth and spending. Signs were present that expressed individuals being "tea'd off" at both Dems and Rep politicians, which was an underlying theme of these parties - non-partisan with a common message of government accountability. Some protesters related government spending to government sponsored abortion, as Obama's funding for pro-abortion programs is just that - federally funded murder. Some protesters went satirical, some were serious - stating that "we will fight you for it" referring to resisting Socialist America. My sign read: Hope, Change, Obey with pictures of Hitler, Stalin, and Obama - with a supporting document on hand - the DHS briefing targeting "right wing extremists". It was my intention not to distract from the tea theme, but to draw attention to the specific targeting of political dissent as enemies of the state. This melded with the ultimate theme of government growth and encroachment - which includes spending - on state and individual rights. About 400 pictures were taken of me and my sign - some from media - and some with video cameras. The intent of the video camera was clearly to catch a "right wing nut" compare Obama to Hitler, but my level headed response was such: "What Bush did in growing government and government spending, Obama is perfecting. I am here in support of states and individual rights protected by the 9th and 10th amendment to the Constitution. Many others are here in protest of the growth in spending and the encroachment of government beyond constitutional bounds." Needless to say, I doubt my response will actually make the cut - opting instead to use footage from less-articulate protesters.
Media and Leftist Reporting/Blogging
Media coverage on site was minimal, and national coverage by news organizations other than Fox was mocking or non-existent. In fact, Local Denver 9 o'clock news on Fox 13 (after American Idol) led with a story about a transgender murder, and after the first five minutes no mention, not even in the introduction highlight of stories for the day, did they mention the protests. Fox Cable News, this morning, ran a story which I was unable to watch, but the headline was "Media Mockery" with aerial footage of some of the events of the day. Leftist Blogs are calling the tea parties failures, indicating that the gathering of 200,000+ protesters, each easily representing 10 who couldn't attend because they had jobs, was little more than right wing extremists - twisting messages on signs to fit an agenda of perceived racism, etc. In Denver, how could you consider one of the largest protests ever at the state capital a failure? Media bias bent on talking down to angry citizens, marginalizing our message and purpose, and deterring individuals from joining the angry majority. In short, the left and the liberal media are attempting to dismiss the meaning, seriousness, and potential impact of these protests. In fact, the most stunning sign in Denver read "I hate that you have made me a protester"... the general feeling of many who were in attendance as well as those not able to make it... How dare our government radicalize core conservative values - and how dare the media marginalize our protest! Hugh Hewitt played a clip on his radio show during the protests in which a CNN or MSNBC reporter began yelling at a protester in the middle of an attempted interview - indicating my next topic - the left just don't get it
The Left Just Didn't Get It
Obama made a speech in regard to the tax day protests, admitting that he didn't fully understand why folks were protesting, as he had just cut taxes for certain individuals. Some counter-protesters (all four of them) held signs saying "Just Shut Up and Pay Your Taxes". General Liberal Media rejected the protests as simple partisan venting with no major implications on American Politics - going so far as attempting to back up their case with a "poll" from their website which indicates that "most Americans support the stimulus packages". On every level it is very clear - the Left just don't understand why Conservatives and Libertarians are enraged.
As such, let me spell it out for our, ahem, slower friends...
1. A majority of us on the right didn't support Bush's stimulus spending. Bailouts, entitlements, etc - these are all failed economic programs that do nothing more than stagnate economies - take special note of Japan's economy during the 90's, where bail-outs and entitlements to the citizens increased debt and did nothing to stimulate their economy - we are in the same trap. The left claims that free market killed the economy, but they are lying... it is the encroachment of these failed socialist economic principles that killed the economy, but they on the left used a wool blanket lie that "Bush was in Charge, he is a conservative, so therefore conservative free markets failed". In philosophy 101, this is clearly identified as a false logical argument... also known as an attempt to make something appear true when it is, in fact, not... Bush was a social conservative, NOT an economic conservative... These are two very different and distinct issues that the left want to confuse, but it must be our role to tell the truth.
2. The right don't mind paying taxes - we just want to eliminate unnecessary taxes. We pay more than our fair share. We want an overhaul of the tax system - to a flat or fair tax. Make those in the lower tax bracket buy a stake in America - make them pay a flat rate of 18%... the same rate that the wealthy should have to pay... This rate is proven to promote maximum economic growth - anything less and there is not enough for "social balance", anything more and there is incentive to cheat taxation (and less incentive to succeed).
3. We want the government to curb spending. We want the government to eliminate debt owned to foreign nations.
4. We want the government to return to the Constitutional Republic structure on which it was founded... with smaller federal government, and more control at the local and state levels... re-enact the 9th and the 10th amendment, returning powers to the states, and reducing the role of the federal government to within the boundaries of the constitution.
5. We want the government out of businesses, out of banks (including the Federal Reserve - which is a private bank), out of mortgages, etc. Reduce your size and your role to the powers given to you by the people in the founding document - the Constitution. You have taken an oath to support and defend it - now do so!
6. And we want you and the government to leave our f-ing guns alone! We have a right to arm ourselves for personal, property, and civil defense as an unorganized militia. This is not a right from the government, but a natural right of existence.
To our friends on the left who still don't get it... You want equal outcome for all, we want equal opportunity for all... there is a difference. We should all have the opportunity for success without interference from other forces - least of all the government! We should not ensure that, regardless of level of effort or level of personal contribution, we all get the same product. This is the mindset that de-motivates and de-incentivizes a population, and as such removes or reduces the amount of individuals able or willing to strive for success. We want a reward system for success... you want a reward system for status-quo.
In closing - we will not be marginalized, we will not be cast aside. We will accept that you are radicalizing us, and we thank you for the motivation. We are stronger, smarter, and proven ideals that all free men strive toward. You are weaker, more easily duped, and support ideology that has failed throughout human history.
We will win - you will lose!