Friday, April 24, 2009

Note From an Extremist, Redneck TEA Drinking Mom

You know, I've had a lot of labels put on me in my life: teacher, Christian, friend, mother, volunteer, wife, writer, etc. I must say that I was very surprised to wake up the morning after going to a local TEA party with my three daughters and hear that I was an extremist and redneck. Some even called us stupid and racist. Wow, those words have never entered my mind when I think about who I am. Silly me, instead of looking in the mirror each morning I should have just been asking the media what they saw. Certainly their image of me is far clearer than anything I might see. I mean, their view from New York or LA is far more accurate then my view here in the heartland.

Having said all that I'd like to tell you what I saw at the TEA Party I attended here on April 15th. Obviously, what I saw and what people saw on the television are two extremely different versions. I'll try to recount my experience using all the knowledge I gained during my18+ years of education so I don't sound too redneck.

The first thing I noticed was there were people in attendance from all walks of life. From babies, to school teachers, to lawyers, and stay at home moms. There were retired people, veterans, Scout leaders, and grocery checkers. And dare I say it, but there were democrats, independents, and republicans alike.

A picture of the rowdy crowd.

There were smiles on people's faces, kids running around playing, and lots of American flags waving in the wind. You'll notice I said waving in the wind, not burning or being stomped on. There were signs galore. All clean (I mean no profanity), spelled correctly, and many were humorous. People were chatting with strangers and friends alike. I saw a veteran remove his jacket and hand it to a stranger who's baby was cold. Then I watched as she handed him her baby to hold so she could pull a blanket out of her diaper bag. Rednecks are like that you know.

One of my favorite, humorous flags.

My kids found their friends in the crowd.

What were we protesting you ask? Well, TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already. Those of us who pay taxes pay a lot of taxes. And here's my thing, I don't mind paying taxes. But I do mind paying for the stupidity of some lawmakers. And I do mind when my children's future well- being is being threatened because today some adults in Washington can't get their act together.

I, also, believe that we are the people. That our voices need to be heard. So whenever we have the chance to let our voices be heard, we need to exercise that right. A woman named Mercy Otis Warren was equally outspoken about her right and her opinions about government. One favorite quote is :
It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government.

I wonder if she was called names for her view, probably. But the book this quote was taken from was written in 1805 titled History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution. She was a fascinating woman and strangely enough, not someone that I ever read about in any of my history books growing up!

Oh, anyway all I can say is that I've really never been too concerned about what the media or the folks in Hollywood think. Thankfully, I answer to a Higher Power. And, hopefully, if you are concerned about the direction our government is taking you'll feel empowered to stand up and voice your opinion, even if you do get called a redneck, racist, stupid, extremist Momma!


Pat's Place said...

Well said, my dear! And I do not view you as redneck, racist, stupid or extremist--and I claim to know you well!! Way to go, Momma! You tell 'em! It might not surprise me if I find one of the girls in D.C. one of these days fighting for those rights that you have expressed. Hope they are not too late!

Kara said...

Thank you. I hope they won't be too late to!!

kpottlitzer said...

It's Bush's fault :. He gave all Texans a bad name. (ducks and covers head).

Anonymous said...

Well written. The left has always owned the protest as a way to get things done. It was usually applauded by the media. They can't accept that the right and moderates have taken a public stance against taxation. The attacks by CNN and MSNBC only validate that the TEA Party protests are effective. Anyone who doesn't realize that taxes will be raised in the years to come to pay for these bailout programs has there head in the sand. S.P

Anonymous said...

"their" sorry for the boo boo

Aimee said...

Well said, Kara! I fall into the extremist/redneck category too! Go figure!

PCP said...

People see the word "Extremist" and there first thought is crazy, outsider, and so on but is there really a problem with being an extremist? heres the meaning of Extremist: Extremism is a term used to describe the actions or ideologies of individuals or groups outside the perceived political center of a society. the way the political center is is it really bad to be an extremist? after all without extremist's political change cant ocure

"I dont mind being called an Extremist because it reminds me that i have nothing in common with you" -Jay Naylor