Thursday, April 16, 2009

How, when and why have we Constitutional patriots became ‘Tea Bag Terrorists?" On April 15th we attended the Chillicothe Tea Party. The parties reflect a grass roots effort to protest out-of-control spending by government in Washington funded by excessive taxation We attended knowing that we have now been identified as extremists and potential terrorists by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It seems more than a coincidence that Janet Napolitano, Obama’s Homeland Security Director, issued a 9 page document on threats to American security the day before the Tea Parties. Her report identifies persons who disagree with Obama’s administration policies as potential terrorists, hence the name "Tea Bag Terrorists" comes to mind. On the same day, Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times called tea party participants "insane." Well, we "Tea Bag Terrorists" or we the "insane," held parties of protest in over 2,000 cities throughout the U.S. with hundreds of thousands of Americans in attendance.

At Chillicothe, Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Sam and New England patriots with tri-corner hats attended in period costumes. The program began with an invocation to bless the gathering followed by the pledge of allegiance and a singing of our national anthem. A ‘subversive’ start wouldn’t you say for terrorists? A speaker emphasized that Washington did what it wanted by passing the stimulus package without reading it or allowing debate. Another speaker noted that over the last 50 years, morality in America has gone down the drain. A speaker who disapproved of the killing of the unborn received loud support. A high school student complained of the theft by taxation of her bright future. Questions were asked: "Where is stewardship? Why have we abandoned our Constitution? Where is capitalism that made this country great? How many things can’t we do today that we could do 25 years ago? A rendition of the song "I’m proud to be an American,"genuinely aroused the emotions of the listeners. All speakers were ordinary citizens; we avoided the Columbus Tea Party because politicians were to be speakers and we felt they have been the problem not the solution to present woes.

We disappointed the police presence with our proper decorum; they looked bored and lonely on the sidelines. We braved the opprobriun of Homeland Security, the mockery of the mainstream media. Government waste and the stripping of Americans’ basic liberties were the themes on most placards by demonstrators. Our placard read, ‘OINK TO GET YOUR PORK,’ with cute, little piggy faces in the O’s. Other signs read: "Don’t tread on me, T.E.A. Taxed Enough Already, Give me Liberty not debt, R Are you T’d off?, Read my lipstick, no new taxes, Spread my work ethic not my wealth, Stop stealing my children’s future, Born Free but taxed to death, Liberty is all the stimulus we need, I am not your ATM, No Fascism ( also socialism) in America, Vote for change we can afford." The crowd of about 500 at Chillicothe was predominately composed of locals but I saw a signatory from Kentucky. Babies in slings and strollers, young adults and seniors ( some handicapped), conservatives, libertarians, Republicans and Democrats - all were represented in a nonpartisan, civil but angry crowd. Truly a tea party is a grassroots movement that is as one participant said, "a freedom loving American thing."

So how dangerous are we ‘Tea Bag Terrorists?" Obama’s Homeland Security Department’s report describes terrorists as "those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration." Noteworthy is the fact that this report actually refers to American citizens who disagree with policies of the Obama administration as ‘terrorist.’ Yet it is now official administration policy to call foreign terrorism a "man-caused disaster"so as not to offend foreign terrorists. Also noteworthy, the report violates our Constitution’s founding principle of states’ rights and places federal authority over our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We can handle being called "Tea Bag Terrorists’ but the Obama administration goes too far when in the same document it also cites homecoming soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan as potential terrorist fodder. It says that "right wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat." It seems they cannot let go of the left-wing vision of our military as uneducated and prone to violence. Veterans at the tea party audience were applauded as well as the speaker who saluted the greatest military in the world.

A spokesman for the President said Obama probably isn’t aware of the tea parties. Really? Isn’t the problem that the administration does not hear the people? The first step in hearing the people would be for Obama to fire Janet Napolitano, a true un-American. A little more than an hour of solidarity with fellow Americans who still honor our Founding Fathers and the Republic they created, served us well.