Atlanta Tea Party

Posted by David A. Peterson on 16. April 2009 in Message |

The 1974 edition of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the meaning of Grassroots as “society at the local level as distinguished from the centers of political leadership

I’m as grassroots as you can get. In fact I may not have actually rooted yet. I’m not a professional writer or a journalist. I’m not rich or poor. I’m not a politician, nor do I aspire to be one. 5 months ago I realized that I had not actively participated in the 2008 election cycle. As my penance I created USA Reference – A moderate conservative blog.

The Atlanta Tea Party was the first political rally I have ever attended. I brought my son with me and I think we both knew it would be special when the first person we saw in the crowd was my neighbor passing out pocketed sized booklets containing the U.S. Constitution.

Then I ran into an ex co-worker who said she just saw another friend. Truly this was a community coming together for one purpose. There were a sea of people at the event. There were 15,000 people packed onto one street in front of the Capital building. The event was energetic, fun, and well organized. I would like to give a shout-out to AtlantaTeaParty.net who organized the event.

The mainstream media tried to ignore the Tea Party events happening around the country. They labeled the attendees as Right Wing Extremist, misguided and misinformed masses.crowd.jpg

One CNN reporter, Susan Roesgen, went so far as to berate a poor guy holding his baby at a Chicago event. Then she when on to say that these were anti government and anti CNN protests. I bet after she reviews the tape today is going to be very embarrassed. I feel sorry for her, she definitely left her objectivity in the car and got a little to close to this story. She’s probably hiding in bed right now with the covers over her head.

After the event I turned on ABC Nightline to see how they would cover the Tea Parties. Here is a program that got its start covering the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 with Ted Koppel reporting. Last night the Tea Party story managed to get squeezed in right behind the kid who is a genius, and a story on pirates. Wouldn’t you know the host confidently stated that the attendees were misguided.

Misguided? What is really misguided is how our media and our politicians have missed this movement. I’m about as moderate of a Republican as you can get. I have strong conservative fiscal views but my social views tend to be more centered. I am so fiscally conservative (okay – cheap) that my dictionary is from 1974! Yet here I was with my son in the middle of 15,000 people – just like me.

So what makes these 15,000 people just like me? What are our political views that united 15,000 in Atlanta and probably around 250,000 in the U.S. yesterday?

Here are just a few of the themes that may have ultimately united us:

  • Down with big government – Hmm
  • No to government health care – Could be
  • Fair tax – A bunch of these folks were there
  • Government out of control – Heard that one
  • Government debt – Another theme of the night
  • Government intrusiveness – Heard that one too
  • Tax and spend – Certainly
  • Elite politicians – I wouldn’t want to be a national politician today their phones are probably ringing off their hooks

There were all of these themes and more last night. However… All of the messages above have been around for years. In fact we hear them in every election cycle. So what was the ultimate message of last night? One that was meant for all local, state, and federal politicians throughout the land?

I’ll sum it up for you:


That is the message that brought Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Moderates and Conservatives together yesterday all throughout the United States. I wonder if your favorite politician heard that message yesterday? I can guarantee our state politicians who work at the Georgia State Capital heard it last night.

The Atlanta Tea Party was definitely a grassroots effort. The local community came out to separate themselves from the elite political class. The elite political class had better shut up and start listening or they will be joining some of their consituents in the unemployment line in 2010.

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