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Tea Party IRS Rally 2013

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted June 21, 2013

Beneath the shadows of the lemon yellow Gadsden flags that swayed side to side in unison with chants of U-S-A! U-S-A! stood thousands of fed-up Americans.Freedom Watch

Brought together by the right to petition the government for redress of grievances and a collective spirit of liberty, demonstrators gathered on the west lawn of the Capitol building on Wednesday to protest the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

I jumped on the train that morning and attended myself. I wanted to not only hear what the speakers had to say, but what protesters had to say as well. And boy did I get an earful!

I have to admit though, I was a bit apprehensive about going…

You see, this was, for the most part, a Tea Party rally. And if you’re a regular reader of these pages, you know I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the Tea Party.

When the modern-day Tea Party first made its appearance, I was excited. As someone who sees our two-party system as offering little more than the illusion of a real and effective democracy, I applaud any group that stands up and forces the status quo to take notice. And in theory, I agree with what most Tea Party groups champion: fiscal responsibility, the elimination of excessive taxes, a balanced budget and, as Francis Bellamy wrote in 1892, “liberty and justice for all.”

However, over the years and after perhaps hundreds of conversations with Tea Party supporters, I have found many (not all), to be quite hypocritical in their beliefs, and not particularly knowledgeable about the issues that affect the stability of our fragile democracy.

Decomposing in front of the idiot box, tuned into any one of the major mainstream media outlets, will do that to a person.

So while attending the Tea Party “Audit the IRS” rally earlier this week, I was not surprised (though I was a little disappointed) to find continued evidence that it takes a lot more than a Gadsden flag and a protest sign to be a patriotic American.

Made in China

Before the actual IRS rally began, there was another demonstration to protest some less-than-adequate measures being taken to reform immigration policy and tighten the borders.

One of the speakers at this rally spent a lot of time talking about how we keep exporting all our jobs to China, which of course, puts a lot of hard-working Americans in the unemployment line. And I agree.

But here’s the problem: So many of us bitch and moan about everything being made in China, but how many of us actually go out of our way to buy American-made products? How many of us are willing to bypass the cheaper, lower-quality “Made-in-China” stuff and seek out higher-quality “Made-in-America” stuff?

If you’re that upset up about China “stealing” all these jobs, wouldn’t it make sense to support the manufacturers that sill operate in this country?

There’s no doubt that this was an issue that got a lot of people fired up on Wednesday. In fact, one gentleman in front of me yelled “F*ck China!” And as I looked over in his direction and gazed upon the back of his lawn chair, I was struck with an inconvenient truth that so many of us passively ignore:


Of course, it’s not easy to find things that aren’t made in China or India or Bangladesh or some other country where five-year-olds are put to work in dilapidated warehouses and paid with the security of knowing they won’t be sold into sex slavery…

But it is possible to buy American and support local economies. I’m not preaching, by the way, but merely stating that if you’re tired of the U.S. outsourcing everything, then make a statement with your purchasing power. It’ll go a lot further than screaming “F*ck China!”

And all those politicians who stand up there and tell voters that they’re going to fight the good fight and bring jobs back to America — I say that we should audit them, too. Audit their homes, wardrobes, and food and see how much of it has been sourced outside of the United States. I’m willing to bet it’s no less than 90%.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-free trade. I’m just anti-hypocrisy. And I know for a fact that you can buy American-made lawn chairs. I own two!


Thank the Tea Party

But the rally wasn’t a complete wash. In fact, I met and spoke with dozens of folks who were simply there to protest the government’s mistreatment of citizens and the complete Congressional disregard for the Constitution.

And when you look it at like that, it’s unfortunate that the west lawn of the Capitol wasn’t overrun with Americans on Wednesday…

As I looked around that afternoon, I thought to myself it was a rally every American should have tried to attend. My friends, it’s not just conservatives under attack. It’s every single citizen of these United States. And quite frankly, even though I still have my issues with the Tea Party, at least these folks have the stones and the dedication to show up and make their voices heard.

But it’s going to take more than just 10,000 or so showing up in D.C. for a one-day rally. It’s going to require all of us — millions of us — to force real change in Washington. Because make no mistake; the only thing these folks in Washington care about is getting reelected. But they can’t get reelected if we choose to collectively stop basing our voting decisions on little more than elephants and jackasses.

I would also remind you that these people work for you. And you have every right to demand that these bureaucratic buffoons abide by and protect the Constitution, not sell it out to the highest bidder — which of course, is exactly what happens every single day.

No, I’m not a member of the Tea Party, and I don’t have any real desire to attach any label to my beliefs and values.

But I’ll tell you this: If it weren’t for those Tea Party folks, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone putting together or attending these kinds of protests. And for that, I applaud the organizers of Wednesday’s rally.

Live honorably, live free…

Jeff Siegel Signature

Jeff Siegel for Freedom Watch