***Just a quick aside, I wrote this in a political science class as a current event reaction paper. At the time (in April 2009) in Fresno there were protests by the Tea Party that I chose to react to. ***
Current Event Reaction Paper: Tax Day Tea Parties
When April 15th is mentioned the first thought that comes to mind is tax day, a group of protesters came up with the clever idea to protest the Obama administration’s raise of taxes on that very day calling it Tax Day Tea Parties. What most people don’t know about this event is that it wasn’t the first of its kind, and I’m not talking about the Boston Tea Party either. “On February 27th, an estimated 30,000 Americans took to the street in 40+ cities across the country in the first nationwide ‘Tea Party’ protest. Organizers of the February 27th events pledged to continue on with an even bigger and better protest to follow the first. With April 15th being ‘Tax Day’, it was decided to schedule the second round of Tea Party protests to ride alongside the tax deadline.” (Tax Day Tea Party) This protest gained media attention as well as raising awareness about the happenings of the Obama administration, it was also a great demonstration of our constitutional rights as Americans to protest.
April 15 was more than just the tax deadline this year with the tax day tea parties occurring across the nation. Fox News describes this event as, “Thousands of protesters – some dressed in colonial wigs with tea bags hanging from their eyeglasses – showed up in states from California to Kentucky to Massachusetts, holding signs and reading speeches lambasting the Obama administration’s tax-and-spend policies.” This event made a huge impact simply because it was so widespread; it was covered by news media in both national and local news. The big message being sent out here by the protesters was, “we’re not going to take it”. Their goal was to make their grievances known, and they certainly did because the media circuit lit up that day with the tea party “festivities”.
A bit more research on this event led me to discover that according to the tax day tea party website it “began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the On Air Editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House Administration and Congress. Specifically, the flawed ‘Stimulus Bill’ and pork filled budget.” (Tax Day Tea Party) The website also states that this movement gained momentum and was spread through social networking websites such as facebook and twitter.
In Fresno, over 1,000 demonstrators gathered on tax day to protest government spending and tax policies and according to the Fresno Bee the crowd reached 7,500 by 6pm. This event demonstrates our constitutional rights as Americans to protest, in this case the protesters feel the government isn’t doing what is right and oppose the taxes and policies our new President has put in place since taking office. “The demonstrations are part of a larger grassroots movement against government spending called Taxed Enough Already, or TEA – giving name to the Tax Day Tea Parties – and come more than 235 years after the original Boston Tea Party revolt against taxes.” (Fox News) There is a connection here with the Boston Tea Party during the time of the American Revolution. The colonists also felt they were being taxed without representation; many Americans feel this way today and oppose the taxes President Obama has been raising since he took office in January.
Most people think this is strictly a right-wing republican movement, but this simply isn’t the case. One of the Fresno coordinators, Jared Gordon (who is also a member of the Fresno County Republican Central Committee) said in a quote taken from a Fresno Bee article that “the ‘tea party’ wasn’t a Republican event, — rather, … it was an attempt to send a message to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., that people are fed up with the government spending, taxation and corruption.” (Branan) It was also a platform for prospective republican candidates in the upcoming 2012 election to get their names out there and gain supporters while voicing their opinions about the current administration’s taxes and policies. These republicans have a goal of taking back the White House by the time the next election comes up and they are doing a good job of it so far by showing the people exactly what President Obama is doing in contrast with all his big pre-office promises.
What this protest really did was make people aware, during campaigning it seemed all Obama talked about was change and how he would get America out of the economic recession while lowering taxes. It seems as though the new President has done the exact opposite of what he promised before he became our President. This is a typical case of the lying politician, in my opinion Americans have every right to be mad and protest what our President and his administration have done because this isn’t what [they thought] they voted for. I feel that if you’re going to make a promise to the American people, it should be kept; like I learned in class, you’re not voting for the President, you’re voting for the party and this is where the Democratic Party is leading our nation.
Since President Obama has taken office it seems he is leading the American people towards socialism. He has raised taxes, made several attempts at universal healthcare (otherwise known as socialized medicine), and signed the Stimulus Bill which put billions of dollars “to good use”. President Obama’s stimulus bill hasn’t done anything but put Americans farther into debt, he is putting a big financial burden on the generations to come and it’s not fair. Democrats have control of the Senate and the House so Republicans have almost no say in what gets passed into legislation anymore, this doesn’t seem constitutional at all for one party to control the government especially if they are leading us towards a new form of government, socialism.
The purpose of this event was fulfilled and hopefully the American people will stay tuned in with what the President and his administration have done and will do in the next 4 years. In my opinion, the most interesting part of this event was the President’s reaction. On April 29, at a town hall meeting in Arnold, Missouri the President said this of the event “So, you know, when you see — those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we’re going to stabilize Social Security.” The President may not think that this is serious, but the movement has begun and it will only continue to grow stronger.
Branan, Brad. “Thousands gather to vent at tax day tea party – Local – fresnobee.com.” Fresnobee.com – Home. 16 Apr. 2009 .
Tax Day Tea Party. 16 Apr. 2009 .
“Thousands of Anti-Tax ‘Tea Party’ Protesters Turn Out in U.S. Cities – Presidential Politics | Political News – FOXNews.com.” Breaking News | Latest News | Current News – FOXNews.com. 16 Apr. 2009 .