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One year ago today I attended my first ever protest. It was the tax day tea party held at this very site. I carried a sign with a picture of my than infant daughter and told all who would listen that I was there to protect her future.
That seems like a lifetime ago, and for my daughter it almost is a lifetime. Since that time, tea party protesters and others that are against the current democrat big government agenda have been demonized to say the least. We have been called racists by national broadcasters and pundits who get paid millions of dollars to criticize this largely middle class movement. Local and national politicians have attacked us in print, radio and television. Some protesters have even been physically beaten by SEIU and other pro health care reform groups.
Yet we still protest, because we believe we are right and are willing to fight for the future of this country. If you are starting to feel like a patriot, you are. Liberty is not free and we know that now.
But we are not here simply because we don’t like our government leaders. Tell me if Barack Obama was pursuing an agenda to minimize government involvement in the private sector would you be here? If Nancy Pelosi had not told us that it was fair to jail private citizens for not purchasing federally approved health insurance, would you be here? Would you be here if the Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase and Gator Aid had not happened? We are not here because of who are leaders are or what they look like, it is their policies that matter.
The arguments in support of smaller government are so simple and fundamental that they are rarely made.
When do you feel more empowered? At Sears, Wal Mart, Target or at the driver’s license bureau, IRS. With government services you have to accept what you get even though you are paying for it. You have no recourse.
The free market system allows us to choose for ourselves what we want. It demands success. The product, idea or service must add value or it fails. Our country has become so great because we have had the freedom to choose for ourselves, and Americans have always chosen excellence.
When our industries are tied up in government regulation and ownership, than the power of the consumer is lost to the politician.
When a bad idea fails in a free market, the product goes away. Anyone remember the New Coke? Remember how fast the market responded? Imagine if that had been a government idea.
Like many of you I heard about the recent problems that Toyota had with some of their cars. I admit I still don’t think I completely understand the situation, but I can say that I felt a cold chill when I asked myself, what if this was a GM (Government Motors) car? Would we have heard about the problems or would they be swept under the rug to avoid embarrassing political favorites?
The arguments for big government are supported by feel good sentiments that guilt Americans into supporting bad policies.
People say we need more government intervention to protect us from unscrupulous businesses, but who will protect us from corrupt government bureaucrats?
Others demand government regulation to help people make the right choices. There are always good intentions behind government interference. Do not be fooled. How do we make people make the right choices without forcing it on them? How do we do that without forcing it on me?
How many of you have heard that we should want to give more of our pay in taxes for the less fortunate? Recall Joe the Plumber’s conversation with then candidate Barack Obama. It is not sympathetic to create a class of people that depend on the government and through that on the 53% of us that do pay income taxes. Creating a class of people that depend on their neighbors for their very existence robs them of their ambition and in my view, it robs them of some of their humanity.
Conservatives have long been criticized for complaining about high taxes. The fact is the more a government takes in taxes the more enslaved the people are. It’s simple math. If you are paying 25% in taxes than you work for the government 3 months out of the year, but when that rate goes up to 50%, you have just lost three months of your labor to the government.
Destroying the free market system that made this country great will benefit some. Large corporations that grease the right palms will do well, but the majority of Americans will be worse off. Our power as the consumer will be gone. Our paychecks will be smaller to pay for “free” government services. We will have fewer options. Our lives will be increasingly at the whim of the government oligarchy.
That is why I am here to protest. I want a smaller government as was intended by our founders. I want a government that protects our basic human rights. Today’s big government is more about fines, mandates, penalties, requirements, restrictions, regulations, taxes, debt, than it is about the will of the people.
I applaud all of you for coming out to protest despite the army of opposition to our message. To the leaders that demonize us, I ask that you stop calling us names and explain why you think we are wrong. Name calling is best left on the playground.
To all of you that came out here today, I must remind you that protests do not change the way this country runs. We saw that with the health care vote. The only way to do that is through the ballot box. If we care about our liberty we must wage a sustained effort to get involved in our local political parties and elections. We must make changes at local, state and national levels in our leadership.
Stop being scared to discuss politics with your hip liberal friends. Engage your neighbors, co-workers and friends on your favorite blogs. Talk about how government intervention will affect each of our lives. Talk about the take-over of the internet disguised as net neutrality. Talk about the back room deals being made for Cap and Tax. Spread the word. One you have done that VOTE.
Remember that once we elect someone to a local political office, we have now given them a platform upon which to launch a campaign for higher office. All politics is local! No election is too small. Get educated and vote in every single one. Take a friend with you to the polls. You can help pick the future leaders of Tennessee and America!
It takes energy to put on an event like this. It takes energy for me to speak at this event, and it takes energy for you to come. Let’s channel that energy, get involved and GET OUT THE VOTE!!! Ultimately, that is the only way our protests will be heard.