So what's next? Now that the Tea Parties are over, will those who participated go quietly into the night after having their moment in the sun, as many in the liberal media are predicting? If our little group in St. Paul is any indication, I think not.
As emcee Sue Jeffers said, "This isn't a one-time hissy fit; this is the start of something big."
Our grass-roots steering team is already planning future events for July 4 (Independence Day) and Sept. 17 (Constitution Day). And we are going to support the events of other groups that became part of the coalition that made our event so successful, starting with Jason Lewis' Tax Cut Rally on May 2.
The inaccurate media coverage and the continued bashing of the Tea Parties by the media has only strengthened our commitment to our message and our cause. We are not a bunch of right-wing extremists trying to be disruptive; we are concerned citizens trying to make our voices heard and participate in our political process. We are not protesting any single person or political party; we are protesting the direction and policies of the current Congress and the new administration.
Our issues are:
•Out-of-control government spending.
•Nationalization of private businesses.
•Redistribution of wealth.
•The TARP bailout plan.
•Loss of individual freedoms.
•Excessive government regulation.
•Loss of national sovereignty.
It is time for concerned citizens everywhere to find a way to get involved. We have a unique right as Americans to participate in the process of government. If you value your freedom, you have a responsibility to exercise these rights. Our Constitution is the most original government charter every created, and it gives to Americans guarantees of liberties and freedoms that exist nowhere else in the world. Those rights and freedoms fueled America's greatness, the American dream and the innovation that made the United States the most powerful nation in the world.
As Dr. W. Cleon Skousen asserts in his book, "The 5000 Year Leap," the founding fathers established 28 principles of freedom that were written into the Constitution. Adherence to these principles in our laws and beliefs for the past 200 years has created more progress than had been made in the previous 5,000 years. Why would we want to give this up?
America, it is time to wake up! Let's take back our country and our destiny. We are a good and generous country. We need to return to a government that follows our Constitution and its principles. The Tea Parties represent a desire by many citizens to return to these roots. Through our peaceful rallies we attempted to promote these ideals and make our voices heard by those whom we elected.
Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said," I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical."
So go, find your voice and join us. We are not going away, we are here to stay!
DAVE JOHANNES, ANDOVER; COCHAIR, ST. PAUL TAX DAY TEA PARTY