"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
-- Mahatma Gandhi
I hadn't planned on attending the Tax Day Tea Party event in Oceanside, California Thursday morning when I woke up, but I spent my evening there anyway. The event was well organized by a group called "Stop Taxing Us" who said that there were about 3,500 in attendance. After I saw what time the rally was to be held, the location, and the speakers they had lined up, I knew I couldn't resist. So after work I jumped in the car and headed up the coast to check it out.
(Photo courtesy of StopTaxingUs.com)
Although I was entirely unprepared (no camera or notepad) the Tea Party did not disappoint. I arrived just as Steve Poizner, the Conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate began to speak. Poizner was obviously looking for votes but he did a good job of outlining the states problems and the solutions he's putting forth to fix this mess. I do believe that he is a true Conservative and I find it entirely ironic that the GOP establishment rakes him over the coals for being married to a liberal. The California Republican Party has a reputation for having a certain relationship of it's own with liberals, so they really aren't one's to talk on such matters.
Steve Poizner is pushing for "radical change" for the state of California and by that he doesn't mean the Obama brand of radical. He's the anti-Obama as far as his political ideology goes and his solutions all point to decreasing government, not increasing the beast. During his speech, he purposed changing the California Legislature to part time, to shouts from the attendees of "pay them minimum wage" and "drug test the jerks." I love Poizner's purposal because it takes these professional politicians and tools of the special interest (mainly SEIU) out of the game. He also called for "across the board" tax cuts and fiscal sanity. This is honestly the first time in my adult life that I can say I'm proud of California... Just kidding, had to get a Tax Day dig on the First Lady. Seriously though, I have never heard a candidate for governor, in this state talk like this. He's a breath of fresh air and I don't care if he's married to a liberal or not. At least she's not a Kennedy.
Another speaker at the event that I liked a lot was Senator Mark Wyland. He is actually a member of the California State Legislature representing the 38th district. They should feel very lucky to have a man of his principles representing them in Sacramento. I am not so lucky. Needless to say my representative didn't attend the event and probably is horrified the Tea Party movement even exists. Mr Wyland impressed me though with his fiery speech and his passion for exposing the corruption and dysfunction in the state capitol. I feel a little bit better knowing he's up there fighting for us, even if he is totally outnumbered. He asked Californian's to write him and send him emails to help back him up. He can get more people to listen to him up there if he has a stack of letters and emails from ticked off citizens arguing for lower taxes, smaller government, and suspending AB-32, California's state Cap and Trade bill. You can contact Senator Wyland here.
There were many good speeches from lots of different candidates and tax payer advocates, but Chuck DeVore stole the show. I'm a supporter of DeVore's but after the rally, I would say I am a big supporter. The man gave a great speech where he really connected with the people. It didn't hurt that he just so happens to be a very funny guy too. He made the crowd a promise today. He said that he will call Barbara Boxer "Ma'am" during all of the debates if he win the GOP nomination. Senator Boxer has a little trouble with being called "Ma'am."
DeVore also discussed his ongoing court battles with the likes of Don Henley and the ever present battle we have here in California to get our message out there, while the media and the entertainment industry do everything they can to shut us up. Chuck DeVore is a lot like Sarah Palin in his unwillingness to "sit down" and "shut up." He's not going to do it and suggested the Tea Party participants take the same attitude.
Overall the crowd was large, enthusiastic, and Veterans were in the majority. I spent most of my time standing with a Marine Corps Vet and a lovely African-American woman who were both very inspiring individuals. Another African-American woman joined us half way though and disclosed that she was a registered Democrat who had voted for Obama. She was suffering an intense case of 'buyers remorse' and was very interested to hear the message of the Tea Party movement. She was even taking notes and asking us lots of questions. So, it appears that phony "racism" meme the media has been pushing so hard lately is working like a charm for them... er, not. If the media wants to be effective they should report the opposite message they are trying to convey, considering they have less than zero credibility left.
The threat from the left to infiltrate the rallies seems to have failed due to the fact the left-wingers aren't as smart as they think they are. We had a couple of goons on the outskirts of the event but nobody that I saw was carrying out the prescribed M.O. or getting carried away like they did at other events around the country. There was one guy standing on the guard rail with a sign that said "A FOX Event." Interesting considering the only news cameras there were from Channels 8, 9, and 10. None of which are FOX stations. I guess the unwillingness to besmerch people with false accusations of racism is akin to corporate sponsorship, in the minds of the left.
It was a great event, at a great place, on a day that reminds us all what is going on in this nation with this dysfunctional government machine. Everyone that showed up to a Tea Party today is concerned about the future of this nation and the futures of their children and grandchildren. Repeated all over the country on Tax Day, at thousands of rallies, this message could not be extinguished by the power brokers in the government or their political hounds in the press. We are standing united, even if we disagree on certain issues, the out of control waste and corruption of process in both the state and national governments has got to stop. And these patriots are taking ques from people like Sarah Palin and Chuck DeVore. We too, are not going to "sit down" and "shut up" while the country becomes insolvent and degraded. The big government Alinsky political propaganda machine doesn't know what they are up against. The Tea Party movement is growing and it is sustainable. We will win.