If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news over the last week or so, you may have heard about these “Tax Day Tea Parties” that took place on April 15. I thought it would be interesting to exercise some of my first amendment rights and join my fellow citizens as they demonstrated in front of the Douglas County Courthouse on Wednesday. There was a pretty large crowd, an estimated 1,500 people or so, and plenty of colorful signs and American flags being bandied about. I was a bit late to the party and got to miss out on the Q&A with the State Treasurer Shane Osborn, but I did arrive in time to see a local historian play the role of Patrick Henry. He gave a fiesty little speech at the end of the event, and some of the audience got to banter back and forth with him. One man blurted out, “Why aren’t you using a teleprompter?” Mr. Henry answered back, “Because I’m not being told what to say.” I think that line got a better response from the crowd than any political posturing by any of the other speakers.
I was actually surprised at how non-partisan the event was. Naturally, there was a lot of ire directed toward the current commander-in-chief, but there were quite a few anti-Bush signs as well. The general sentiment I got from the crowd was that they were fed up with poltitics as usual and just wanted to have a voice. I can’t really blame them. It seems we get republicans and democrats trading places in the White House every few years, but the budget only gets bigger, government gets more intrusive, and one party always blames the other for everything that’s gone wrong. Social security’s still going bankrupt, and I’m still paying a higher tax rate than Warren Buffet. I really don’t think there will be any “change” to any of that in the next couple of years, but it is nice to know we still have the right to gather together and yell about it.
And yes, I did vote, so I suppose I’m entitled to it.