I took the opportunity to go to my first (but probably not last) protest in my life. It was a fun experience. I took my 5 year old, Jessica with me, conning her into going with the promise of a train ride (light rail). We drove to the light rail station in Mesa and then took the train downtown and then walked about a mile to the State Capital building, where the protest was. Jessica was a trooper and had no trouble with the walk until the last 500 yards or so when she got tired. There were several people on the train doing the same thing. Taking the train was a good idea as we did not have to fight any traffic or have to search for parking.
The protest was probably one of the calmest protests that I have ever seen(of course the only ones I have seen until yesterday were on TV). People from all walks of life, and all ethnic groups were there holding up signs and chanting as the speakers (most of which were from KFYI) revved up the crowd. I estimated there had to be between 4 to 7 thousand people at this protest, and the Arizona Republic said that there was about 5 thousand people there.
The only complaint that I had was that I was not really able to hear what was being said. The PA system set up was not that great nor did it do much good if you were very far from where the speakers were. Critics of the tea party protests said that these protests were not spontaneous grass-roots organizations, but were GOP organized protests. If it was the GOP that organized them, then they did a very poor job with logistics. But it was not. I did not really care to hear what was said since i consider myself pretty well informed and new that since this was a grass roots protest that at least at this point there would not have been a whole lot said that would have been truly profound.
What I hope is that this is the beginning of something, that the silent majority has been stirred from a deep slumber. The move away from a constitutional republic really began long ago (FDR's New Deal was the beginning), and so many of us have for so long sat by while our freedoms have been slowly eroded and our free market system has been attacked and damaged from people within our own government. We can no longer sit by and say we are too busy to do anything about what is happening to our government. Not only do we need to wake up, but we need to wake up our friends and neighbors.
Often I think people look at me and wonder why I am so politically minded and passionate about these things. I am passionate about these things because the political system is the mechanism by which our rights and freedoms are maintained. It is the Constitution and that protects all of us and allows us to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience.
But the Constitution is under assault. There are those at the head of our government now, who believe that the Constitution is a flawed document and that because of that our country is hoplessly flawed and is in need of radical change. They are using the cover of an economic crisis to enact these changes to remake America. The changes that are being proposed will limit freedom in the name of fairness. Instead of liberty, we will have a soft tyranny.
I am passionate because I grew up loving this country. The American dream was available to all. I have people in my very family who have made their fortune because they took a risk and were rewarded for their hard work, timing and work ethic. I am passionate because I fear that what I see coming from those in power will disable the engines of prosperity that have made this country the greatest on Earth.
All of us need to be passionate about this country or we will be lulled to sleep; And when we wake up, the America we once loved will be no more.
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