My friends, you are reading the blog of a right-wing extremist. At least that is what the media would have you believe. On April 15th I proudly attended a tea party held in Provo, Utah. Along with 700-1,000 concerned citizens I gathered in the cold snowy weather to protest for the first time in my life. As I have mentioned many times on this blog- I am not a die-hard Republican. In fact, I have realized lately that I lean more Libertarian than any other party; however, I do not define myself by a party. I define myself by my core values of faith, charity, integrity, hard work, and liberty. I have a deep patriotic vein within me, and I feel the United States of America is a sacred land. I believe it was founded by men inspired by God as a sanctuary for freedom.
What does freedom mean? I don’t know what it means to you, and I could go on a mini-rampage about the various theories, but I will spare you. I can tell you what freedom means to me.
One of my favorite books is called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs or Linda Brent. In this stirring narrative Harriet Jacobs tells her story of fighting for freedom. Even as a little girl Harriet Jacobs refuses to concede the idea she is a slave- that she is property. Despite terrible trials she keeps the pursuit of freedom as an unending goal. Eventually she ends up hiding from her owner in a garret under her grandmother’s porch for 7 years- watching her children grow up, unable to mother them or help in any way. Why does she do it? Because she believes that freedom is worth the price. Of course, such a price should not be required of anyone, but it proves the point that freedom is a precious gift from God- worthy of sacrifice.
Harriet Jacobs wanted the chance to pursue happiness- to create her own life. That is what she and many others fought for. One of most famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence is:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
To me this phrase means that we are born equal and with the same potential for greatness- the same potential to pursue happiness. This is something Harriet legally did not have but she created it anyway. The triumph of her character would not be stifled. Just imagine what she could have done without the grasp of slavery trying to throw her down. Amazing. In many ways our current President, Barrack Obama, is proof that the potential for greatness is available for any American. He is the son of single mother who grew up in Hawaii. Of course, he is also the first African American president. Nothing stopped him from becoming a success.
So, back to my extremist activities. I believe this country is great. I want to keep it great. I want to be able to pursue happiness- to be free to own a business, raise a family, or live singly and happy. It is my opinion that the current over-spending in Washington is removing some of that ability from my life. They want to burden me with debt, regulation and my neighbors mortgage- something I resent as I have sacrificed to be debt-free. I feel strongly that 12.8 trillion dollars in debt (caused by both parties!) is drowning our country’s future. My sweet nieces will not be able to pursue happiness the way I have and certainly not the way the founders intended.
We have become a country that has twisted the Constitutional idea of equal creation with equal outcomes. Perhaps part of this is a result of the unequal beginnings groups such as African Americans, women, and other minorities clearly had. For years they had an unequal opportunity to succeed; therefore, the outcome was inherently unfair. Government intervention in such a situation is appropriate and fair. Today’s situation is mostly different (and where it isn’t intervention is still appropriate). For the most part, equal opportunities exist for all but naturally so do unequal outcomes. This is part of life in a free society. The government has decided to step in and create equal outcomes, which is not only costly but it strips freedom from citizens under the guise of equality. Because we are unwilling to see people (and yes big corporations) fail we are piling on more debt each second. We forget that part of freedom is the potential for unhappiness too.
It is my belief in freedom that pushed me to attend my first government protest- coined a “tea party” by the organizers. The tea party refers to the Boston Tea Party of the Revolutionary War, where angry citizens dumped tea in the Boston harbor because of the unfair tax Britain was imposing. This was a violent act perpetrated by men who were angry at having their freedom to chose taken. They were angry at being forced to pay for programs and a government they didn’t want or believe in. They felt their voice was marginalized and ignored.
In this modern movement the protesters ALSO FEEL MARGINALIZED AND IGNORED BY BOTH PARTIES. Instead of doing something violent, however, these men and women including myself peacefully gathered. I was proud to be there. I was proud to be waving my sign, and I will never forget the moment of connection I felt with my country. It was a great moment.
On a lighter note, it was also a lot of fun. I brought my sign and a couple of boxes of warmers and made friends with the crowd. I even got a few hugs! My friend Bethany Maddox and her family were there and we cheered together. It was interesting that even in Republican Provo, UT there were democrats in the audience waving signs. This is about anti-spending, not anti-Obama, or anti-Democrat. It is about pursuing happiness which according to some very wise men is my “unalienable right”. These were not weirdos or extremist as the media would have you believe. It was men and women who want small government, want less taxes and believe both parties have let them down. This is how I feel and I will do whatever I can to continue in this cause- even if it means running for local office down the road. It is like they said at my rally as they announced “This is the end” someone said “No, this is the beginning”. That is how I feel, so I guess this extremist is going to keep on being extreme until I see a difference. I am going to do my part that’s for sure.
Jason Chaffetz (who I just love) spoke at my event and here is some video I took of what he said. (sorry you can’t see him and the camera is shaky but you will get the idea).
Here is Jason again. I agree with what he is saying. He is the kind of representative I believe in.
The tea party was wonderful!! I encourage all to take part in anyway you can.