Tea Partiers turn out in force in PTC
Drake Field near Peachtree City Hall on April 15 drew an estimated 1,800 people for the Tax Day Tea Party sponsored by the Fayette County-based South Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.
Music played, a variety of protest signs were displayed and flags flew in the warm breeze, providing the backdrop for a call to patriotism and for increased personal participation in the affairs of the nation. The keynote speaker at the event was radio talk show host Herman Cain.
“This is Tax Day and Tax Day Tea Party Day,” Cain said in his opening remarks. “And we’re coming up on the biggest one we’ve seen since Boston. It’s called November 2010. Liberals are trying to find the head of the Tea Party (movement) to cut its head off. But they can’t find it because there is no head. The media is trying to find you crazy lunatics out there. So when they say you’re just one of those crazies, you say, ‘Yes, I am, I’m crazy about the Constitution and about freedom.’”
In his usual up-front style, Cain asked the audience to remember that the American Dream is under attack and, within this pivotal point in U.S. history, comes the need to fight back for the sake of their families and their nation.
“Our Founding Fathers resisted taxation without representation but that’s what we have today,” Cain said, adding that, “We have regulation without representation.”
Cain turned his comments to the recently passed healthcare legislation, positing that much of Congress still does not know what is in the bill.
“There is a healthcare cost crisis in America and this legislation doesn’t do anything to fix it,” Cain said, noting the demonization by the administration and much of the mainstream media that was experienced by Republicans and independents who opposed the bill. His comments were quickly followed by applause and cheers from the audience. “The day we can’t disagree with the President and our leaders is the day tyranny has taken over in America.”
Cain continued his statements focusing on three weapons Americans possess that can, if used, make substantial inroads to reclaiming the freedoms that are being continuously eroded. He said those weapons of participation are “our voices, our valuables and our votes.”
Addressing the voices of the various citizens’ groups that have sprung up across the United States, Cain said, “There can be hundreds of organizations. All theses are working together at a higher level. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness cuts across all these organizations. So don’t be intimidated into being quiet.”
Our valuables are diverse, Cain explained, and can be found, for example, in the men and women that serve in the U.S. military. Our valuables can also be found in our time and money. Whether volunteering or writing a check, everybody can do something, he stressed.
“If we don’t take back control in 2010 we will have let our (service) men and women down,” he said. “This will be the most critical election in our history because we will be voting for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (so that) America is not turned into the United States of Europe.”
His comments flowed into the third facet of participation, votes.
“Some people believe a vote doesn’t count. Yes, it does, and I believe we will establish a balance of power in 2010,” Cain said. “I believe in the American Dream and I believe the American people are still in charge of this country.”
Cain talked about rumors that he might be a Presidential candidate in 2012.
“What I said was, ‘Focus on November 2010. Remember November. In 2011 we’ll be looking for a Presidential candidate (for 2012). We have some of the usual suspects. And there just might be a dark horse candidate that you don’t know about,’” Cain said to cheers from the audience.
Though presumably cryptic in his comments, Cain a few minutes earlier while speaking on “valuables” had noted that, “Liberals don’t know me yet. I’m y’all’s secret weapon. I want to keep it that way for a while.”
Americans for Prosperity-Georgia representative Joel Foster was master of ceremonies for the afternoon Tea Party event. Also offering brief remarks were Fayette County Commissioner Eric Maxwell on the history of the Tea Party, Rep. Matt Ramsey and Sen. Ronnie Chance on the upcoming elections and the need for public participation in the electoral process, business owner Jay Knight on the issues facing small businesses and Theo Scott, who offered the opening prayer.
Along with asking for blessings on the nation, Scott prayed that God would be with the family and friends of Army Lt. Robert Collins, a 2004 graduate of Sandy Creek High School who was killed April 7 in northern Iraq. Collins was flown into Falcon Field Thursday morning. The procession to the funeral home happened during the Tea Party events.
Scott also paused the day’s event for a moment of silence in remembrance of the fallen soldier. It was a very long moment.
Speaking at the close of the day, South Atlanta Tea Party organizers Cindy Fallon and Claudia Eisenberg summed up the heavily attended event in two words: “outstanding” and “fabulous.”
“It was fabulous. The weather was perfect, the speakers were well-rounded and balanced with Herman, the MC was on target and the music turned out great,” Fallon said. “And to think this started with four people last year.”
Standing at the edge of Drake Field as the mass of people made their exit, Eisenberg reflected on the past year’s work with the local Tea Party group.
“I never dreamed we’d be here today,” she said. “When Cindy called me a year ago I was happy to call my friends and neighbors to attend. A lot has happened in 12 months.”
Both Eisenberg and Fallon noted the significant amount of work done over the past year by the South Atlanta Tea Party group and the other local grassroots groups in Fayette and Coweta counties.
“People have been creative and have worked hard,” Fallon said. “American Exceptionalism is what it’s all about. We’ve got to get rid of this beast called ‘government gone wild.’”