Well, they tried. The mainstream media honestly tried to ignore the April 15 tea parties around the country. When the sheer quantity became irrefutable, the media joined government spokesmen in dismissing rallyers as pathetic cigarette smokers upset because, geez, just a little extra taxes on ciggies, what’s yer problem?

Talk about scared.

Scenes from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, tea party.

I went to a tea party on April 15 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. At least a thousand people attended.

Coeur d’Alene, let it be known, is a charming small city of 35,000 and is not particularly conservative. Many people were with us in spirit but couldn’t attend because they were working (a trucker passing by honked enthusiastically and raised a cheer from the crowd). If a town the size of Coeur d’Alene can cough up at least a thousand frustrated, disgruntled protesters, how big were the tea parties in larger cities?

Remember, there were at least a thousand tea parties being held. I’m guessing over a million people gathered around the country. Picking some random cities, Houston had about 10,000 attendees, Kansas City had at least 4,000, Concord, N.H., had 500, Cincinnati had around 4,500, Sacramento had at least 10,000, Indianapolis had more than 12,000, Tulsa had 7,000, Olympia had 5,000. Even terminally liberal Seattle mustered 1,200. (Here are some tallies.)

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But the best the Associated Press could admit to is “tens of thousands” attended across the whole country. Tens of thousands. That’s it. C’mon, AP … Nashville alone had around 10,000 people. Atlanta had about 20,000. See how the media is downplaying the sheer number as vehemently as possible?

Of course, the reason the media claim to be unaware of how many people attended is because they weren’t there. Sure, some local TV stations had their rigs, but the big guys? No way. I guess they think if they don’t cover tea parties, it means they don’t exist or something.

That seems to be the government’s best defense right now. Marginalize. Trivialize. Aww, isn’t it cute that the peasants are having tea. Now that the big day is over, everyone should toddle home like good little sheeple and be quiet.

You see, the media, and by extension the government, is in full panic mode. That’s why they’re making absurd remarks. They’re calling tea parties “despicable and shameful.” They claim tea parties are sponsored by corporations rather than being grass-roots efforts. They claim we’re just disgruntled because we lost the election. My husband even heard a CNN reporter on the radio who said – I kid you not – “A surprising number of children were being forced to hold propaganda.” Oh great, now parents are abusing their children by involving them in politics. And the media claim they aren’t biased?

This has apparently become the new liberal tactic to deal with the intense frustration being expressed around the country by citizens: Downplay. Belittle. Disparage. Name-call. The liberals are frightened by the anger and frustration unleashed in Flyover Country.

I interviewed a lot of people at the tea party and asked why they came. Standard answers included:

  • “I’m sick and tired of working my tail off, then having my money given away to a bunch of crooks. If you think taxation without representation was bad, well look at it with representation.”

  • “I’m mad as hell. I don’t like this administration. They’re not reading bills, they’re lying … but hey, it’s OK because they ‘misspoke.'”
  • “I’m here to show support for the Constitution the way it was written, and move away from the socialist direction this nation is going. It’s not even socialism; it’s fascism when the government takes over private enterprise and gives the appearance of a free market while they have the ability to control that market. Those are exactly the tactics taken in Nazi Germany in 1928.”
  • “I’m here because my husband grew up in a country that headed toward socialism [Germany]. I want to make sure we stay a republic and stay a free country.”
  • “I’m here to protest spending money we don’t have to purchase things we don’t want.”
  • “I’m here because I’m paying for so much in taxes. I would like somebody to listen to us. I’m originally from Spain. I’m an American citizen now, but I know what socialism does to a country because Spain is a socialist country, and it’s somewhere I wouldn’t want America to go – where people get penalized for success.”
  • “I’m tired of being lied to and being overtaxed, of promises made and not kept. I’m worried that capitalism is being taken away from us, and I don’t want to live in a socialist society.”

Remember, these are people who have never protested before. They’ve been too busy working and providing for their families to have the time or interest to protest. Until now.

It remains to be seen whether tea party attendees – having done their “duty” – will go home and forget everything they saw and heard and felt. Will they continue to agitate, or will they grow apathetic? Will they be vigilant, or will they come home after work and slump down in front of the TV?

The government is watching us. Closely. And this is exactly, precisely what the government hopes we’ll do – that we’ll forget all about these cute little tea parties and let them get on with the business of ruining our country.

It’s been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We let our vigilance slip and look where it’s gotten us.

So what do we do? We continue to protest. We monitor. We stay vigilant. We contact our representatives (consistently and frequently, some might say annoyingly) and let them know we’re watching them. Senators and representatives get daily updates on how many people contact their offices and where those people stand on the issues. Let’s let them know where we stand.

In the words of one of our tea party speakers, the weight of a million individual fingers can add up to tremendous pressure. Let’s add some more weight.

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