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Steeped in Revolution: a modern TEA party

“So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the Giant,” reads 1 Samuel 17 in the Holy Bible. The epic battle continues, “As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead and he fell face down on the ground.” Just as everyone was afraid of the giant Goliath and his seeming invincibility David knew that the fight was beyond even him. He knew that action needed to be taken and in spite of discouraging insults and threats he ran into battle and defeated the enemy. And with similar determination and courage some 800 tea parties were organized across the United States on April 15 to fight big government spending and give a voice to the little guy. Georgia was no different with peaceful protests being staged from Statesboro to Savannah all the way to the north in Gainesville. Why all the fuss though over some federal budget issues and taxation? After all, complaining about taxes is as American as apple pie. But the spending has never been so frivolous and so chaotic. It is the right, the duty, and the obligation of all Americans to remind the executive and legislative branches that it is time to get things under control. As stated in the Wall Street Journal, “If you’re a 50-year old-with a college degree, you will pay approximately $81,000 over your working life just to pay the interest on the debt in the Obama budget. If you’re a 40-year-old, you’ll pay $132,000. And if you’re a 20-year-old, just starting out after college, you will pay a whopping $114,000 just to service the interest on the debt created by the Obama budget.” The protests were not about being Republican or Democrat or Libertarian. They were not about the middle class or even the president himself. The TEA parties according to Ryan Christopher, a masonry contractor and Lamar County resident who attended the Atlanta party, were about upholding the U.S. Constitution. “For years I have seen a spirit of socialism creep into our government. Now we have an administration that seems to be putting a chokehold on capitolism. And if we don’t act now we’ll find ourselves as a Russia or a Cuba; captive and without personal liberties.” Christopher and his two friends were among the estimated 15,000 at the state capitol listening to speakers and representatives, citizens and media personalities. When asked what the most affirmative moment of the evening was Christopher recalled an image of Braveheart from the movie of the same title. “Mel Gibson’s image as William Wallace, riding his horse along his line of countrymen, came up on the jumbotron screens and he spoke his last line. But they’ll never take our freedom. And right then everyone in the crowd starting yelling freedom. FREEDOM.” Things were a bit more subdued however in Griffin where just over 100 people met April 14 to make their voice heard. Addressing the crowd, Rep. John Yates was encouraged by what he saw. “I tried the other party for four years and then switched for the next 40. I think we know which side was right.” Despite his largely partisan words he continued on, “It’s good that people wake up the politicians and remind them that we, as Americans, revolted once and we can certainly do it again.” This was a theme sewn into the event planned out by ordinary citizens like Shannon Herren. Herren, a Spalding County resident appeared before the crowd as a grassroots protester reminding everyone of the idea behind the event. ”There was a group of us that saw a need. There was nowhere local and we knew that this was needed. This event and others like it give whoever is looking the vision that some people do care. We have a message and we want our voices heard.”

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