Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day, Tax Protests, Bi-partisan Outrage

Tax Day Becomes Protest Day
How the tea parties could change American politics.
Today American taxpayers in more than 300 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies -- dubbed "tea parties" -- to protest higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. There is no political party behind these rallies, no grand right-wing conspiracy, not even a 501(c) group like

So who's behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize.


I spoke to an organizer for the Knoxville tea party who said that no "professional politicians" were going to be allowed to speak, and he made a big point of saying that the protest wasn't an anti-Obama protest, it was an anti-establishment protest. I've heard similar things from tea-party organizers in other cities, too. Though critics will probably try to write the tea parties off as partisan publicity stunts, they're really a post-partisan expression of outrage.

Of course, it won't be the same everywhere. There are no national rules, and organizers of each protest are doing things the way they want. And that's the good news and the bad news for Democrats. It's not a big Republican effort. It's a big popular effort. But a mass movement of ordinary people who don't feel that their voices are being heard doesn't bode well for the party that positioned itself as the organ of hope and change.

Will these flash crowds be a flash in the pan? It's possible that people who demonstrate today will find that experience cathartic enough -- or exhausting enough -- that that will be it. But it's more likely that the tea-party movement will have an impact on the 2010 and 2012 elections, and perhaps beyond.

What's most striking about the tea-party movement is that most of the organizers haven't ever organized, or even participated, in a protest rally before. General disgust has drawn a lot of people off the sidelines and into the political arena, and they are already planning for political action after today. [...]

The article goes on extensively about the bi-partisan nature of these protests. RNC chairman Michael Steele wanted to speak at one of the tea party events, and he was denied. For many people it isn't about partisan politics, it's about taking our government back from the "professional politicians" who don't listen to us taxpayers. I doubt these protests are going to be a mere "flash in the pan". We are talking about serious debt here, that will have to be paid off for generations. Dangerous debt that could drag us down. It can't just be swept under the rug.

These protests are happening because politicians on both sides are ignoring the tax payers. And I expect that most of the politicians will continue to do so, for as long as they can. As a result, I predict the protests will continue, and grow stronger. We'll see.

Related Link:

A Tax Day Tea Party cheat sheet: How it all started

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