My View From the Steps

I was one of the thousands, and contrary to what the local news media had to say I DO MEAN THOUSANDS, of people who attended the Indianapolis Tax Day Tea Party. I was there with my husband and my two oldest children. I have come home energized and hopeful, for the first time in 6 years, about the future of my country. Let me tell you why.

We arrived at 10 that morning because my husband was helping with the setup. The girls and I were mainly observing the commotion around us. I have done this sort of thing MANY times in the past and I can say unequivocally that this particular group was VERY well organized. Everyone who was present had a job to do and there was a delightful and surprising lack of ego involved. What struck me after observing for an hour was this: It was increasingly obvious that this was a group being organized by people who KNOW how to organize EVERYDAY LIFE. As someone who has been around those of a political ilk for a long time it was so refreshing to see the EVERYDAY American stepping into his/her role with the efficiency that has made America so successful. There was ingenuity, a common desired goal, and willingness by everyone there to make the event successful aside from personal glory or gain. There is normally a nauseating jockeying of position and desire for name recognition that drives these sorts of things, but not yesterday. It was run by a dedicated and capable group of everyday Americans: business owners, nurses, blue collar, white collar, managers, and retirees who all came together with a passion for their country. This jaded political observer was very impressed.

The rally was to start at 4:30 and by 2:30 people were beginning to trickle in. You could tell that there was concern on the parts of the organizers that the event would not be well attended but I was noticing the TYPE of people who were arriving early and I had a very good feeling about it. When a group of this type is able to tap into the angst of the common man, you WILL achieve a crowd. There is a common saying “Beware of stupid people in large groups” and that most certainly has a large element of truth. However, what our government has taken for granted for so long is this: “Be even more careful of the fed up, everyday common American who suddenly feels that he is on the verge of having nothing to lose”. This country was founded by a group of intellectual men who UNDERSTOOD the power of the common man. Our current “intellectuals” have forgotten that power. What I saw yesterday, as they began to trickle in by 2:30 and were starting to stream in by 3:45, was the beginning of the harnessing of the awesome power that can be achieved by the common man. This was not a showing of “stupid people in large groups”, this was the life blood of America coming out of the woodwork to protect their liberty. These people were not there hoping that the “government” would pay their way, correct their mistakes, or magically hand them the “American dream” on a silver platter. No, these people were there because they believe they have the RIGHT to pay their own way, correct their own mistakes, and achieve the “American dream” by their very own bootstraps. The thought that went through my head repeatedly as I watched from my perch on the Capital steps was this “Dear Government, welcome to the first real view in a very long time of the true heart and soul of our country. Welcome to the Heartland”.

Our rally got off to a late start for the very best reason in the rally world: people were still streaming in. Now, the local media reported that there were around 2,000. If that is the case, then they were the slowest walking group of people in the history of mankind. There was a STEADY STREAM of people coming to that rally for 2 hours. That is ALOT of people! The band who was playing, the Wright Brothers, were willing to accommodate the late start by playing longer than originally intended so a big thank you to them. While this was not a strictly Christian rally, the organizers were certainly not afraid to let their religion be know. Good for them! Christians should not have to hide who they are in this country and I was happy to see that they did not hide behind the PC adage “afraid to offend”. I truly enjoyed hearing the speeches delivered by the 3 common, everyday Americans who told the crowd why they were there for the rally. It was the call out the common man that is so often missing from these sorts of things. Mr. “Thomas Paine” was great, but hearing from 3 people who live in the state of Indiana and being able to truly understand WHY they were there was a powerful thing. The all to often unheard voice of the everyday American from a fly-over state was the HEART AND SOUL of why we were there yesterday. The roaring swell of the crowd as they heard from the common man was telling, to me. We are tired of being preached to by condescending politicians who only court our opinions in election year. We are tired of being ignored in the spirit of Political Correctness. We are tired of being the bad guy because we are responsible enough to take care of ourselves and our families. We are tired of being told that our hard work is selfish. And we are CERTAINLY tired of being told that we are arrogant and derisive! We are America and the speakers yesterday were a representative of who we are, not who the politicians WISH we were.

As the rally progressed, I paid close attention to as many signs as I could see (and there were MANY signs that I could see). Hand written political signs are a great way to judge the mood and tone of a rally crowd because they are a window to the political soul. I counted only 4 anti-Obama signs from my viewpoint, which certainly went against the tenor from the mainstream media that this was an anti-Obama rally. The VAST majority of the signs were aimed at the government as a whole. The most common theme, “the government works for me”. The most prevalent sign, “read the bill” in varying forms of anger. The second most common sign was along the lines of, “stop spending my childrens/grandchildrens money”. I did not see ANY signs supporting either democrats or republicans. When it came to the current politicians, the message was clear, start listening to the people or WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT. And you know what, I believe the crowd yesterday actually meant it.

Once the rally was over, I was struck with how orderly the area was cleared. People left in a none combative way and, they left no trash behind. I have NEVER been to a rally where no trash was left behind. What that says about the people attending the rally is this: they truly do believe in taking personal responsibility for their actions. That is a more powerful statement about who these people are than anything the media will EVER catch on to. Way to go Hoosiers!

There was a follow up with the committee of the rally after everything had been cleared away and the RESOUNDING theme was “what next”. We talked to the men who were there for ICaucus (www.iCaucus.org) and the organizers of the Indianapolis Tax Day Tea Party do not believe that their work is done. Hoosiers, we are not finished. Fly Over States, we are not finished. AMERICA, we are not finished! There will be more to come…….STAY TUNED IN AND STAY FIRED UP!

Esther Petersen


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