I went to the NYC Tea Party yesterday. The tea parties have been held around the country to protest the stimulus bill. The parties seem somewhat small right now, and amateurish. The one I attended in New York had a bunch of people in City Hall Park listening to a series of folks speaking through a megaphone.
OK -- it is a beginning. Conservative/libertarian protests rarely come close to the protests the left is able to put together. Mostly I think it is cultural. The American right tends to be more individualistic and somewhat distrustful of protests. Protests too uncomfortably look like mobs.
Further, as PJ O'Rourke used to say "conservatives have jobs" and generally have better things to do other than stand around listening to people complain.
And I noticed this comment by Rodak:
Tea Party, my ass. The slogan then was "No taxation without representation".
But you have represenation. It's just that you think that when it doesn't go your way, it doesn't count; it's negated by not catering to your perceived personal interests. Sheesh.
What these things should be billed as is "Wall Street" Parties--as in the movie--as in "Greed is Good". Get real.
Here is how I responded. Feel free to borrow and tweak as necessary if you come across someone who thinks as Rodak does about the 2009 American Tea Party. You might help change their mind:
Rodak, another slogan back then was "Don't tread on me."
And as Thomas Jefferson said:
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
The "argument from democracy" is morally impotent because the sanction of even a majority of voters is insufficient to justify injury to someone's "life, liberty, and property," another slogan of the revolutionary era in American history.
And in addition, is it fair to say that by funding spending with excessive borrowing (to make an understatement), our government has effectively levied taxes and placed a heavy yoke on minors and citizens yet to be born? You would agree of course, that they have no representation or voice in the matter?
And how can we say that we are being represented when our representatives weren't given a chance to read the legislation before voting on it? The secrecy and closed-door committee meetings seem rather oligarchical than republican.
I share your outrage at Wall Street, so I find it interesting that you would associate me and the other Tea Party protestors with Wall Street. We're just as angry about the financial bailout as we are about the stimulus package. The outrage against both has come from the same quarters of thought and punditry.
I for one, am a university student completing my final year of study in Entrepreneurship. I am a self-employed small business owner who works hard to squeeze revenue out of my business, not a rich, old Wall Street type.
You cannot fairly pigeon-hole us by making unsubstantiated sweeping generalizations. My overall impression of the tea party protest in Nashville was that most attendees were hardworking, blue-collar taxpayers, the same people who turned out and blocked Tennessee's proposed state income tax years ago.