March for Liberty
Reflections on the Taxpayers March on Washington
(Printed in the Lock Haven newspaper. Nicely done, Zelma!)
By ZELMA LANG
"I'm not sure of what I should do. I've never been in a mob before." This statement came from a very sweet, middle-aged woman as she sat by the reflecting pool, next to the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.
Having seen the news broadcasts and heard the comments by both sides of the aisle, I went to the Sept. 12 Taxpayers March on D.C., to see for myself, who and what this "mob" really is. As a political conservative, I am against big government, but do I really want to align myself with a group that the liberal media and members of the democratic leadership have portrayed as, "the mob, fascists with swastikas, brown shirts, Astroturf, racists, and special interests?"
So I went to this rally to see for myself, and to answer the following questions: How many would show up? Who are these people? Are they racists? What do they stand for? What do they want?
The following comments are based on my personal observations as I walked around the Capitol.
HOW MANY WOULD SHOW UP?
As the day progressed, we heard several reports from different news organizations as to the numbers. At one point CNN reported 30,000. All I can say is that the entire area was filled with people. The march was supposed to start at 11:30, but by 10 a.m. Pennsylvania Avenue was full, and more were coming. We started the march at 10 a.m. and people kept coming for four hours. The "mob" was backed up to the Washington Monument and spider webbed out intersecting streets. People were everywhere, and they just kept coming. In comparing photos from the Presidential Inauguration, reported to have hosted over one million, to photos of the March, it looks like that 1.5 million may well be a pretty good number. We asked some of the few police officers we saw to give us their estimate based on their own experience. They all smiled politely and said, "I'd say over a million." The D.C. police also said this may have been the largest march they have seen in recent years, perhaps as many as two million.
Just who is the "MOB"? They are people from all across America, mostly white, but all races were present. They are young and old, and everything in between. The youngest person I saw was a few months old, while the oldest was a frail lady in a wheel chair. She looked to be about 90 years, all smiles, happy to have an opportunity to make her voice heard. I spoke with doctors, nurses, insurance agents, truckers, construction workers, teachers, auto workers, stay-at-home moms, pastors, business owners, ranchers, store clerks and lots of veterans.
They were Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Constitutionals, and just plain fed up with the feds. I saw no "brown shirts" and NO swastikas. They came from all across the country. Word on the street was 45 buses came from California. Lots of people came from Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Ohio, Illinois and every state in the Union.
They were very polite and considerate. Despite the absence of trash cans (I heard the organizers were not given permission to have any), there was not a lot of trash. People put their candy wrappers and water bottles in their backpacks.
My impression was that most are hardworking, blue collar Americans are proud Americans who value their freedom. They were enthusiastic and knew their facts. Sure there were a few really far out folks. A few carried signs that were vulgar or in poor taste. These jokers got booed as they passed by. Mostly these are "regular people" who are passionate for freedom.
ARE THEY RACISTS?
I personally saw no racist signs. There were many caricatures of the President, Vice-president, Speaker of the House, Barney Frank, as well as other political figures, but I would not consider that racism. Was it racism when the Bush and Palin haters posted some pretty vial caricatures? I don't much care for these political cartoons, but it is not racism. I did overhear a conversation between a couple of young men, in their early 20's, who were objecting to black people on the speaking panel. They got up and left, saying, "Let's get out of here. They shouldn't have those blacks up there speaking." They realized this "mob" did not tolerate racism. As a whole, I did not see race as a driving force in this group. If I had seen race as an issue, I would have left.
WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR?
They are fiercely independent Americans. Slogans on signs and T-shirts read: "Responsibility not Bail-out." "No Child Left a Dime." "Czars are not in the Constitution." "I am one of the MOB." "We the People" "You work for us, we don't work for you." "Government does not solve problems it subsidizes them." "Socialism will kill America." "Ten Percent is enough for God-it should be enough for the government." "Freedom." Many carried American flags.
Many also carried the flag from the 9-12 Project website (www.the912project.com ). It is yellow with a snake that says "Don't Tread on Me" and is the symbol for their nine principles and 12 values. The 12 values are: Honesty, hope, humility, sincerity, hard work, personal responsibility, reverence, thrift, charity, moderation, courage and (friendship) or gratitude. (This last one seems to be different for different groups.) Summarized, The nine principles assert that God is the Center of our lives, America is good, we have personal responsibility to accept the consequences of our actions, we have constitutional rights, and that we have a right and an obligation to make our voices heard.
The "Mob" may best be described as possessing the fiercely independent pride of the pioneers that settled this country, relying on their own strength, but always willing to lend a helping hand to their neighbors in true need. They believe people need to be responsible for their own needs and destiny, and that government should stay out of the business of social welfare. Most believe in God, and in charity through their church.
They wanted to be heard. Slogans read: "I will spend my own money and you can keep your CHANGE." "Throw the bums out of congress." "Impeach Obama." "Read the Bill." "Read the Constitution." "Do you hear us now?" "No Obama Care." "No More Debt." "No Socialism."
They want government to stay out of the daily lives of citizens, to cut spending and to cut taxes. They want a democracy grounded in the framework of the Republic that was formed in 1776. They want to preserve capitalism and individual freedoms. They want the federal government to return to the principles and mandates expressed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They want to protect individual freedom and choice.
In closing, while I was watching the 9-11 Memorial Service in New York, a reporter from Fox news commented that on 9-11-2001 it was sunny, but that for every subsequent 9-11 memorial services have been held on windy days. He went on to say that Native Americans believe that the spirits of our ancestors are carried in the wind, and that maybe the spirits of those who died that horrible morning in 2001, were present at the memorial services.
We had a lovely day during the rally, not too hot, mostly overcast, and really windy. Perhaps the spirits of the Founding Fathers paid us a visit. I hope they liked what they saw, because I did. I decided that I am proud to be a part of this "mob."