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A Tea Party Weekend

The movement for smaller government was still alive this Independence Day.

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

July 7, 2009 - 12:35 am
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The following night’s event originally was to be held at Gwinnett Place Mall, but the owner, Simon Property Group, has large contributors to leftists like Obama and reneged once they learned about the group’s political orientation. The crowd at the new location at the state capitol numbered at about 400, according to organizer Dr. Bob Frady. But there should have been 4,000, he said, except that an announcement was made at the previous day’s event that the Atlanta tea party had been cancelled, confusing participants (including me). Flyers were distributed for the GOP barbecue fundraiser for the same day, prompting charges from Frady that Republicans were “corralling” the event.

Among the first of the speakers on the 4th, John Oxendine, Georgia insurance commissioner, considered a frontrunner for governor, claimed to be the candidate who would go back to founding principles, the theme of the invocation. He made a plug for states’ rights. Political newcomer Ray McBerry, however, gave a stirring rebuttal, claiming that he had been speaking on states’ rights for ten years, as opposed to Oxendine’s three-month position. Referring to the confiscation of guns during Hurricane Katrina, he asserted, “If I were governor those federal agents would be in jail” — a remark that went over quite well. Around the same time a state trooper, who did not look like she could run a block without getting winded, told a man with a large “Don’t Tread on Me” flag that he would have to remove it. Apparently, the pole of the flag was seen as a potential weapon.

Speakers from Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty and the Georgia Constitution Party came next. Debbie Dooley read President Reagan’s speech again.

Then the young Krohn bounded up to the stage and began, “You’ll notice I don’t need a teleprompter.” He had learned at least a line from an elder, Herman Cain. But, alas, he could have used a teleprompter, for he sounded like a kid excitedly telling his mother his ideas on current issues. (But he is cute.) Gerry Purcell, candidate for insurance commissioner, then urged the audience to educate liberals on socialized medicine by asking what health innovations had come from Canada and Europe, and by appealing to their concerns about age discrimination (medical treatments are restricted by age under socialized medicine).

Others on the lineup included Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center on efforts by the UN to undermine American sovereignty through sustainability initiatives and Dr. Tom Sandwich, a physician, on socialized medicine. Gainesville radio talk show host Martha Zoller pointedly outlined the Obama strategy: to get everything done by 2010 or bank on the idea that the opposition will get tired and defeated.

State Representative Bobby Franklin called on Governor Perdue to call a special session of the Assembly for passage of the Constitutional Tender Act. Indeed, a major theme of this tea party, and not of the previous day’s, was the need to audit (and eventually eliminate) the Federal Reserve Bank.

What stuck out after the singing, invocations, and speeches of the weekend was the message that our rights come not from our government, but from God — a truly revolutionary political concept in the history of mankind, when you think about it.

I thought of the people I saw on the MARTA train I took to downtown Atlanta that afternoon, especially the young man accompanied by a scantily clad young woman and three little children. He wore braids and a pendant with a photo of Obama. I would have bet money that he, like many of the students I have taught at my community college, did not know who Hitler was, much less Mussolini.

Frady emphasized that tea partiers equally criticize Republicans on such issues as homeland security and excessive spending. The Cobb County affair, on the other hand, offered more of a conventional rally to the troops.

Nonetheless, the guy with the Obama pendant probably had never been exposed fairly to any of the ideas at either, I am sure. The question remains how to get the message to him — or at least his children.

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Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at www.dissidentprof.com. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.
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