Further on the teapartiers....
How do you know when you're part of a revolutionary movement? A possible partial answer: When they -- critics, opponents, the nameless they who seem to rule -- start trying to define you, as opposed to letting you define yourself.
They -- leftists, Democrats, mainline pressies -- have sought variously to define teapartiers as racist, fake (faux grass-roots, "Astro-Turf"), extremist (Nancy Pelosi), irrelevant, and prone to violence (could Bill Clinton have had tea-partiers in mind when he recently recalled the horror wrought by Timothy McVeigh?). Comes now E.J. Dionne, la-de-da columnist for the ever-so-lofty Washington Post, to describe them as "more affluent and better-educated than Americans as a whole" -- practitioners of the "populism of the privileged."
At a Tax Day rally in Richmond (Virginia), neither such qualities nor such people were in evidence. The several thousand attendees defined themselves broadly as middle-class and definitely not "privileged." They presented not as violent, not as extremists, and not as racists. They were polite and calm. The rally had an almost Fourth of July sense to it. The program featured two blacks -- one a diminutive postal worker who said from the lectern she voted for Barack Obama but realized shortly after his inauguration "that the time for affirmative action is over."
Among the placards and signs: Lower taxes increase revenues -- JFK, and ObamaCare: Take a number, stand in line, and die waiting, and Washington, Sam Adams, Jefferson, John Adams -- right-wing extremists, and Failures love socialism, and When did 'We the People' become insignificant?
No hate-speech. No rhetorical bomb-throwers. Not a whole lot of people any observer with his head screwed on right would regard as nut-jobs. Just plenty of plain-speaking, hard-working Americans at the end of their tethers about taxes and regulation and the expanding role of government in their lives.
Ordinary, run-of-the-mill, just-folks people fed up with pols feathering their own nests by snitching bedding from the everyday rest of us. People worried about the growing culture of dependence on government, at the expense of individual independence from government. People distressed by the regulatory state, driven into retreat during the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, now -- under Obama and his fellow radical leftists -- romping on. People, as William Buckley said in its opening issue his National Review magazine would do, standing "athwart history yelling, 'Stop!'"
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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