The rally started with the typical ritual of Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner. I was confused why the ritual was required. I have yet to be mistaken for anything other than an American by people outside the United States. I, in fact, am guilty of taking for granted that I shall be an American until the day I die. I do not sing the Star Spangled banner every time I step out in public ( I normally sing something from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood). My being an American is a given that will not change no matter where I am in the world. I guess there are some people who need to be reminded of their nationality.
I hope the display was not an attempt to intimidate. Much as the reading of the Constitution was a failed attempt to intimidate non-Tea Party members in Congress into giving full control to the Tea Party. I say failed for it was not long after the reading that a freshman Tea Party member attempted to circumvent the process for creating laws in America. Said freshmen member wanted to force a law into being should the Senate not approve a measure from the House. I wonder if said member was one of the ones attending a fund raiser during the swearing in ceremonies. The failed attempt to intimidate via singing national anthem and saying pledge is not the BS that overloaded my already full system. The tired talking points without viable solutions were the overload.
The purpose of the rally was to discuss getting rid of the Speaker of the House (Mississippi) who happens to be a Democrat. The format for each speaker was wedge issue, say Democrat, say vote conservative, and finish with liberals destroying ( your state goes here). The problem with the wedge issues, other than their tired stale nature was no resolution was given. A speaker mentioned wasted tax dollars but said nothing about Gov. Haley Barbour using the $600 million from Katrina for corporations and not the people who were victims of Katrina. Abortion was trotted out of its stable in the barn of conservative talking points but died after the condemnation of single unwed mothers in Mississippi for being a drain on the system. I was confused. Abortion is one of the options open to pregnant unwed women. Please note I am not advocating using abortion as a means of birth control. I am stating that it falls flat when paired with the condemning of single unwed mothers.
One would think that after such obvious confusion in pairing messages, they would have stopped and just song rally songs of America the Great. Yet, they pushed on, deeper, into the jungle of confusion they were creating. They mentioned limited government but advocated for school vouchers using the code: education reorganization. They spoke of Democrats not being pro business while bemoaning the entitlement programs given to single unwed mothers. Mississippi has a cottage industry that gains much revenue from entitlement programs. I was lost. Either they want small businesses to survive or they don’t. May they are only for large corporations. If that is the case then that would explain being against unions. However that would not explain bemoaning poor education system which is not a problem for areas with strong active union members. Education and income go hand in hand such as unions and a thriving middle class. They spoke of tort reform but failed to mention how people do not get enough to cover their lifetime medical costs under tort reform. No viable solutions just more wedge issues to keep the people frighten. I saw how well the crowd responded to fear, I thought I would throw out a very real fear. Oil in the water on the Coast killing sealife.
When I mentioned oil still coming ashore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I was told by a woman how she had eaten shrimp from the Gulf Coast the previous night. I asked if she was aware of the additional cost incurred by the shrimpers to clean the shrimp. She turned her back. I wondered if she would drink the water, or allow her family to swim in the water on the Coast. When I called for us to focus more on BP and less on “hurray for my side”, I was given stares of disapproval. One lady approached me to ask me not to speak out. I pointed out to her that I was using my un-amplified natural voice while the speaker had a PA system. I saw nothing wrong; then again maybe I am just an unaware ass, with pointing out how the original Tea Party was a revolt against a corporate owned British government. My call to return our government to the people was met with laughter. I knew then they were drinking corporation kool-aid and not tea. My suspicion that they were on special kool-aid was confirmed when a woman told me I must love slavery. She said this statement to me after I said I love Mississippi. I was left dazed and confused. She quickly made a move to the rear of the small crowd. I knew then that unlike former President Bush, I had to form an exit strategy. Mean, hate filled, racist, fascist people are one thing but crazy people are a totally different subject.
The exit strategy was stay until the end, sing Tea Party rally songs, and leave. It was after singing and enjoying God Bless America that I was verbally assaulted. They seemed to be upset that I would enjoy singing God Bless America. Strange for as an American I just can not see myself singing God screw America. I was called several unsavory names. I reminded the speakers that Jesus was watching. Their words had me wondering just what America they wanted God to bless. A Vietnam vet informed my partner that he was a traitor for not being a Tea Party member. Some part of me knew my partner was being called a traitor for having his white ass out in public, in the daylight with my mouthy black ass. I, however, pushed against my partners massive pecs to keep him from decking the older man. Given that my partner had served in Iraq, I knew it was time to leave.
My lesson for the day, the Tea Party does not have any viable solutions for the problems we face in our state let alone in our nation. They are too caught up in playing a political football game complete with corporate sponsors and clueless cheerleading voters, who willingly vote to give up their rights guaranteed by our constitution.