I rushed out of the house on a Monday morning at 9:30, heading to the Nutter Center to pick up some tickets for the Freedom Rally sponsored by the Dayton Tea Party. I figured if I left any later I’d have to stand in a very long line. But when I pulled into the parking lot, I saw two other cars there- WHIO Channel 7 News, and a couple walking up to the ticket booth. Very anti-climactic. The reporter began setting up his camera while I chatted with a lady who was from the UK, and had seen firsthand the downside of the kind of health care system being proposed by the current administration.
A few minutes later, cars began pulling in, one after the other. Soon there were over 50 people in line, laughing and talking, excited about what we were all there to do. The reporter started interviewing people here and there, and the consensus was that our elected officials were ignoring a huge block of American citizens who did not want bailouts for large corporations, tax increases, or any sort of federalized health care.
While many felt that our health care system had some problems that needed resolving, they all agreed that government intervention and control was not the way to go. I heard the FairTax mentioned several times. Since I was second in line when the box office opened, I quickly obtained our tickets and drove away, noting that people were still pouring into the parking lot. I felt encouraged by what I’d seen. These were people who knew what they were talking about, who weren’t planted by the Great Right Wing Conspiracy and who were not hostile. Rather, they were ordinary Joe Sixpacks and Suzy Homemakers who had found a way to combine their voice with others in order to be noticed by those serving in our representative Republic.
The origins of the Tea Party movement are somewhat hard to define, but my research suggests it probably began when Graham Makohoniuk at the Market Ticker Forums and some folks at FedUpUSA suggested mailing tea bags to their members of Congress in January of 2009 to protest the The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424 proposed and passed by the Bush Administration. But then there was the Rant Heard ‘Round the World—Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Market Exchange in which he accused President Obama of “promoting bad behavior” with the mortgage bailouts and encouraged a Chicago Tea Party in July.