Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Rick Santelli Day

From what I have gathered, it was last February 19... 2009.  I didn't hear about it until the following week, when it was being replayed on a morning news broadcast.  I took notice.

This was the spark that ignited the Tea Party Movement.    The sentiment was already there.   But this event gave it a focal point and a name.

It wasn't Glenn Beck.   It wasn't Fox News.  It wasn't nefarious anti-Obama Corporate interests.  Or racists.

It was a recognition by a lot of people, at the risk of sounding cliched, that America is upside down.  And the solutions being proposed seemed like turning more things upside down, faster.

What do I mean by that?

Rick Santelli said it.  We were rewarding bad behavior.

The full rant is here.

Now Rick's just talking about bad economic behavior. But we know that isn't the only area where we are rewarding bad behavior. 

The left, which had just been swept into office on the promise of fiscal responsibility and common sense, wants to give the protection of our constitution to people who take advantage of it and the Geneva conventions and use them against us.   Enemies.  Prisoners of war. We reward them and give them civilian trials?

We are talking about giving amnesty (again) to millions of people who broke the law to get here.  We pay for their medical care.  We insist on giving them our free public education.  In their own language.  We are actually encouraging people not to melt in to the American "melting pot".  And all of this does what?   Encourages more people to break the law.

And in this one, anybody who points it out gets called a "racist" by the people who believe that more government is the solution to everything.   And nothing irks people more than being falsely accused.   Add that to the fact that the mainstream media is full of people sympathetic to that view, and yeah.  There's a lot of anger there.

The keynsians and their socialist big-government friends blatantly and openly took advantage of the economic crisis to write what looks like (now) an $860 billion dollar blank check to themselves to fund every pet project they'd been wanting for a couple of decades.  And after writing this blank check, they set about cranking up a 1 trillion dollar kickoff to get us on the road to a government takeover of health care (though they continue to deny that).

They clearly say anything that they think will get them approval, claim a mandate, and then do whatever they want.

And a bunch of us got angry.  I myself took time off of work and went to the first protest I've ever been to.  I, and just about everybody else there was not comfortable making any sort of ruckus.  We're generally the kind of people who don't relish the spotlight.   We've been taught that we're nobody special.   This does not come naturally to us.  It was a very orderly gathering.  Nobody was rude.  But we did fumble around for our voices, and some people were better than others and after a while, we found them.

After watching the seething rage from the leftists during the Bush years, I'd say that yes, we were angry.  We were passionate when we spoke.  But we were not an angry mob.  We were an orderly group of people coming together in solidarity -- just the kind of thing the left likes to praise itself for.

When I saw how we were portrayed in the media, I was surprised, and not surprised at the same time.  That was the first time that I saw first hand what I knew happened in journalism -- that what gets reported is what the journalists want the public to believe, and if that's not what actually happened -- so be it.  Who is going to question them?  And if somebody does, who will report it?

My eyes were opened even wider.

Glenn Beck started the 9.12 Project last February as well, setting up a framework for grass roots community organizing -- just not by leftists this time.   The sentiment was there.  Beck set up a framework and turned it out to the people -- he keeps his hands off of it -- and Rick Santelli let this rant go Feb 19, 2009 -- and the perfect storm ... the perfect fire, a grass fire -- took off.

The leftists do not like us playing their game.  They're like a little kid who found someone else playing with his toy.  They've fought back, and are still fighting back.   But this time, we're not backing down from the dismissive insults and derision.   We know we're right, in general.  We don't agree on everything.   And like every other movement, we have our fringe kooks.  But we go forward with our own beliefs, our own ideas, and may the best ones win.

I regret not going to the Capitol Mall in DC on 9.12.  I went to our own state capitol's steps that day, because I felt I had to do something.  There were about 200 people there, as opposed to the hundreds of thousands ... maybe ~750 thousand ... people in DC.  But it was about the same experience as the first Tea Party rally I went to.

Then came the town hall meetings.  They were portrayed as angry, violent mobs.  But the only violence I've ever heard confirmed was union goons, sent to intimidate us.  We weren't intimidated.  Still, the press was happy to leave people the impression that we were the agitators.

It is clear that we have had an enormous impact.  We stopped (for now) the Health Care behemouth.  We've bought time, enough time for Climategate to come to light.  And we've encouraged millions more to step out of the shadows knowing that they are not alone, and they're not crazy -- and speak their own minds without fear.

Hopefully, we're just getting started.   The leftists are currently on the run, but they will re-group and we are far from out of the woods.  Very far.  The derision and attacks will continue.  They don't have any other tricks short of force, which American leftists have not used to a significant extent.  Yet.  But they are capable.  Just ask anyone who has crossed a union or the Chicago machine.  And it is always the endgame for statists.  They get the revolution so far, and then they crush dissent with force.

Thank you, Rick Santelli.  Because of you, I am proud to say

I am a Tea Partier.

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