Smashing the Left's Stereotypes about Tea Partiers

I had the privilege of interviewing three interesting individuals among the 500 or more who attended the Tea Party Express III rally Monday afternoon in St. Charles, Mo. One is a student at nearby Lindenwood University. Another is a small business owner from Belleville, Ill. The third is a black ambassador of conservatism from Deltona, Fla. Together, they smash the left's stereotypes about who attends tea parties.

College Student

Despite a 30-minute deluge of rain prior to the rally, a college student with dreadlocks named Josh Ciskowski was determined to stand up for conservatism and constitutional values.

A history major at nearby Lindenwood University, he displayed and articulated a thorough understanding of what's wrong with this country when government officials supplant the ideas of the Founding Fathers with their own misguided, big government ideology.

"It's movements like this that reassure us that the government is not going to take away our freedoms that were guaranteed to us through the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, what America was founded on," he said.

Most adamantly, he said, "We are not supposed to have our freedoms taken away by the people we elect."

To watch the interview, click here.

Small Business Owner

Many people on the left like to paint business owners as greedy. Sandy Richter owns Sandy’s Back Porch, a small garden center and gift shop in Belleville, Ill., and she doesn’t fit that description. She shared her story with me prior to the event’s kickoff.

During her first five years in business, she said, she paid out around $400,000 in wages to her 10-12 part-time workers.  Conversely, she’s taken in only $7,000 — or 20 cents an hour — for herself during the same period. Understandably, she’s concerned about the future.

“My concern with the current administration is that they have a tax-and-spend philosophy,” she said, “and, as a small business owner, you have to take a major risk in your life, you work for many, many hours for no pay until your business is actually profitable.

“At that point in time, when you do make a profit, I’m concerned that our tax rate with this new health care issue will grow to be 50 or 60 cents on every dollar that you have made,” she explained.  “Why would you hire people to run a business to make money just so you can give the administration 60 cents on the dollar?

“And it may not happen tomorrow and it may not happen two years from now, but this health care reform — that is what it is going to do to this country.

“I believe this is the land of opportunity,” she said.  “If you want to do anything bad enough, you can do it here.  It’s not a land of entitlements.”

To watch the interview, click here.