During my lunch break on Wednesday, April15th (Tax Day), I attending my local tea party rally in downtown Santa Barbara. I wasn’t expecting too many people to be there because Santa Barbara is a very liberal city and it was in the middle of the day when most people are working a normal job. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I drove by Alameda Park, the staging ground of the Tea Party protest, and saw about 300+ people congregating around some speakers and a musician. Some people were carrying various types of US and Gadsden (don’t tread of me) flags, some had signs with different slogans such as “Born Free, Taxed to Death” and “Give me Freedom, Not Debt!”, while others were wearing shirts or hats adorned with tea bags. The crowd was quite diverse and included everyone from senior citizens and war veterans, to middle and working class folks, and even some students from UCSB as well as high school and grade schools. In the middle of the group, a one man band was playing his guitar and singing songs to inspire and pump up the crowd (such as Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going to Take It”), and in between songs people were coming up and giving short speeches to fire up the crowd (including two very impassioned speeches by young men at the end).
After getting fired up, the group proceeded with stage II of the rally, to march to the IRS building a couple blocks down from the park. As we were marching the local media was there covering the event, including the well known John Palminteri (the Ron Burgundy of SB). Many people were being pulled aside for interviews, including some of the younger men who gave the great speeches, and I made sure to be in the background so I could be on television (which a coworker confirmed the next day :-P). After marching to the lair of the usurpers (the IRS building), we proceeded to march down to State Street and then looped back to Alameda Park. Being a part of a local Ron Paul meetup group, I was happy to see several other members there getting people to sign the petition for Dr. Paul’s HR 1207 to Audit the Federal Reserve. One person also gave an informal short talk in front of the IRS building about the Federal Reserve and this made me happy to see some people there who were awake (and not just some conservatives who were “Johnny-come-latelies”).
Many liberals are scoffing at these nation-wide tea party protests, thinking that it’s just a bunch of conservatives poking their fingers in the eyes of liberals, and think they’re hypocritical because no one was speaking up like this during the Bush years when they were spending like drunken sailors (no offense to drunken sailors). To me it’s quite obvious why these tea parties are taking place, it’s because now we are in a recession, millions are losing their jobs and wealth, and people are PISSED! During the Bush years, although the administration was completely oblivious to the damage it was doing to the economy, people were happy because the stock market and housing market were sky rocketing. Unbeknownst to them, all the wealth being accumulated was just fake and a product of a giant bubble that had been growing ever since Greenspan at the Fed was pumping in easy money after the dot com bust. Now that the bubble has burst, so has all the phony wealth followed by the bad businesses and misallocated jobs. What has the Obama administration decided to do to handle this crisis? They’re trying their hardest to blow the bubble right back up by spending and borrowing their way into the biggest deficit holes we’ve experienced. Obviously, Fox News and the conservative right are going to take advantage of the public’s growing sentiments against all these bail outs and stimulus packages from the government.
I share in many of the same sentiments that people at the tea party protests do, but I see all these issues of taxes and big government spending as more of an effect caused by a bigger, underlying problem. The problem is the Federal Reserve. The Fed makes it possible for all of these big government spending programs and bail outs and is the culprit behind all of our economic bubbles the past 80 years. It’s a group of private international bankers who control our money supply and monetize our government’s debt, and they are ultimately going to cause the destruction of our wealth if we don’t do something about bringing back honest money to America. I was glad to see a number of supporters there at the rally speaking out against the Fed and opening up to Ron Paul’s message. It’s becoming a lot more accepted now in the conservative right than it was a year ago (sadly), and I’m hoping that this message of freedom will keep spreading. I believe that the conservatives are starting to open their eyes and see how destructive the Bush presidency was. They need to figure out a new way, and hopefully they can discover the principles of Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty.