It’s April 15th… tax day. The day when all income earning American’s must make their payment to the U.S. government. I can still remember my righteous indignation when I got my first paycheck and saw how much my government was taking from me. I couldn’t believe it… I still can’t.
In the knee jerk resentment of taxation inbred in all Americans, I find I’m more than a little encouraged by the Tea Party events taking place all over the nation today. Just a year old, the anti-tax Tea Party movement has made a point of using visuals to connect itself with that first anti-tax tea party back in December 1773. I especially like that the T-E-A has been used to stand for “Taxed Enough Already”. Sadly true for all to many of us.
Certainly the Tea Party is anti-establishment… a collective roar of pure fury from the common man (or woman) who’s had enough of big spending by pampered officials, bailouts of the undeserving, insecure borders and leaving huge deficits to be managed by our children. Can’t argue with any of that. I must admit I find the Tea Party stand on immigration (they’re opposed) a politically incorrect notion that puts U.S. citizens first, for a change. More than anything, the movement is “anti Washington”.
Probably why it appeals to so many who are angry and frustrated by the action of a government that’s supposed to serve us. I must admit to feeling utter jubilation at the surprise election of Scott Brown to the seat vacated by the long serving, hard living Senator Ted Kennedy that came as a result of Tea Party support. In fact, that little victory had me smiling for several days, and I don’t even live in Massachusetts.
In truth, the Tea Party doesn’t sound all that different from the very real sentiments I’ve heard expressed by the average Americans I know. People who work hard, pay their way, obey the law and expect a country that hasn’t been sold to special interests, where government minds its own business, secures its own borders and stands proud and tall in the world.
True to form, the Tea Party doesn’t even have a “leader”, though Sarah Palin often speaks at events. And yet, no other third-party movement has gotten the same kind of attention from our devoutly liberal media, suggesting that the Tea Party is more than a fringe element, more “mainstream” than any of them care to admit.
So just who are these Tea Party supporters?
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp phone survey conducted in mid February 2010, Tea Party activists describe themselves as Independents, though they’d choose the GOP in a two-way race. Most tend to be male (6 in 10), living in a rural area (half), overwhelmingly conservative (nearly 3 in 4) and rather upscale, generally college educated.
All in all, they sound like average Americans. Like people I know.
What has the establishment in Washington (and elsewhere) so unsettled is the list of “heros” and “targets” the Tea Party has announced for the upcoming midterm elections. Not surprisingly, there are a majority of Republican candidates, but the Democrats are represented as well. But if they can unseat even one or two of the intrenched politicians, we might have something here.
It’s going to be an interesting mid-term election.