I wrote this column on
Monday morning, before the Boston Marathon bombing. It had crossed
my mind on Saturday that there is some slight danger with going into
Boston for a political event, but of course, we all went anyhow.
Now, while praying for the victims of the bombs, it’s even more
important to celebrate Patriots Day, and never let the terrorists
thought it was the best state in the nation for an American to live.
When I moved here in the 1970s, I looked forward to visiting
Thoreau’s Walden Pond, the Bridge at Concord, the Freedom Trail and
the site of the Boston Tea Party.
As I began my career as
a taxpayer activist, I felt right at home with Citizens for Limited
Taxation, which worked to limit state and local taxes and is
affiliated with the National Taxpayers Union and its federal
balanced budget amendment.
We were grateful to
Ross Perot of “United We Stand America” when he went on television
in 1992 to teach Americans the difference between the deficit and
the national debt. We admired Paul Tsongas and his New
Hampshire-based Concord Coalition for following through to address
them. But by 2009, something was clearly missing: a nationwide
grass-roots surge of citizens who were ready to take back their
country and do something about the growing fiscal threat.
Then suddenly, Tax Day
in April brought protests around the country. Protesters threw “tea
parties” in more than 2,000 cities and towns, including in all six
New England states. Hundreds attended one on the Boston Common,
where CLT activists made many new friends.
A year later, tea party
candidates had been elected to Congress. Deficit hawks finally had
representation on Capitol Hill. A new War of Independence — from the
burden of unsustainable debt — was being waged by a new generation
of patriots. Forces opposed to fiscal responsibility organized
against the tea party, and groups with different agendas than debt
reduction tried to co-opt it, unfortunately with some success
But in Massachusetts,
the Greater Boston Tea Party has managed to stay focused on the
fiscal and constitutional issues, holding a rally last Saturday; my
partner, Chip Ford, and I even drove into Boston, which we normally
don’t, in order to hang out with old and new friends on Boston
The rally began with
live music by The People’s Blowback, which led us in Howard Beale’s
battle cry from “Network” — “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING
TO TAKE THIS ANY MORE!” Later, hip-hop artist Andres “Dramatik”
Gonzales performed his original “We are the People” rap.
The keynote speaker was
my longtime friend Grover Norquist of
Americans for Tax Reform,
who said that “The tea party is America awakened” and, with his
usual sardonic humor, brought the crowd up-to-date on the
“trickle-down taxation” presently occurring in Washington, D.C.
Local author and Fox News expert on psychiatry Dr. Keith Ablow
listed political situations, including $17 trillion in national debt
and asked us to decide: “Normal, or nuts?”
Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform addresses
the Greater Boston Tea Party crowd.
For more event photos,
Former Boston talk show
host Jeff Katz set a major theme by reminding us that our most
admired leaders, from Winston Churchill to Ronald Reagan and the
recently passed Margaret Thatcher were known for their optimism and
refusal to give up. Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League and
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies brought us
up-to-date on this week’s most controversial debates in Washington.
Other speakers ranged
from Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance in opposition
to proposed new Massachusetts taxes to Andrea Tabor of the Ever So
Humble Pie company, who refused to accept EBT cards for her pies at
her local farmers market.
I asked Haverhill
resident and organizer of the rally, GBTP President Christine
Morabito, to share a few words with you.
“When we gathered for
our humble Tea Party Rally in April 2009, we had no idea how
widespread the movement actually was. It hit me personally when I
joined several tea party leaders in Washington, D.C., where we were
thanked by Sen. Marco Rubio’s director of outreach, J.R. Sanchez,
for ‘changing the conversation in Washington.’ But, along with great
influence, comes great responsibility, and I consider it my
responsibility as a tea party leader to keep this ship on course.
“Over the years, many
fringe groups have attempted to steer the tea party in a direction
that mirrors their agenda. This has been a constant struggle — and
one the Greater Boston Tea Party has managed to win, although not
without accumulating some scars along the way.
“The Greater Boston Tea
Party remains a group of citizens who are concerned with the
increasingly burdensome reach of government. We stand for what we
have always stood for: limited government, free markets, free
speech, individual liberty and personal responsibility, all tenets
of the Constitution with its Bill of Rights.
“We started this
movement because for the first time in our lives, we feared our
children might not have the same opportunities that we have. Even
President Obama claimed to find this unacceptable in 2008, when he
said, ‘To take out a credit card from the bank of China, in the name
of our children ... that’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic.’ The tea
party still thinks this way.
and borrowing is out of control and our children should not be left
holding the bag. Hence the theme of this year’s Tax Day Rally,
‘Unburdening the Next Generation.’”
Thanks, Christine, and
all your excellent speakers, on behalf of my 12-year-old twin