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April 21, 2009

A Call to Arms…

Farrell Keough

I had the privilege of attending the Frederick County Tea Party. While neither man will accept the credit, great thanks goes out to Blaine Young and Bob Miller of WFMD radio, 930 A.M. That attendance on such an awful day to be outside was remarkable!


It gave me great confidence that I was a part of a great number of people who had similar views. I saw people I knew to be conservative, Republican, Democrat, unaffiliated – virtually all stripes and perspectives. But there’s one underlying reason to be in attendance – we, the people, have been forgotten and are not being listened to or represented.


Many in the mainstream media have no earthly idea what these nation-wide Tea Parties were about. That actually makes quite a bit of sense to me. They have become myopic in their view of the public and how our government should work. Railing against excessive spending and unnecessary government interference in our lives is simply not a perspective they can understand – no one they know believes that is a problem. And one wonders why so many newspapers are falling by the wayside.


But that is not the point. These Tea Parties were not to get media attention. The point was bigger than that. The point was bigger than any individual and what “we can get” from our government coffers. The point was based upon the ideals which founded this nation. People attended because they have seen both political parties succumb to the allure of power and control and the belief they (the elected officials) must purchase their votes with pork.


My own personal view was twofold:


We need to return to less government programs and interference. As I have said before, government is a necessary evil because people can necessarily commit evil. Hence, since people control government, the least amount is the best amount. And dependence upon government is a subjugation no one should live under.


We need to remember that Representative Democracy was not the only aspect of this Grand Experiment we call the United States of America. Capitalism was also a component. This economic system allowed individuals the capability to rise above their social status and attain wealth. No where before were these two systems coupled in a fashion that all citizens can reap the bounty of their labor.


We had the event. More people showed up than most thought would. But now what? Does it just stop here? Did we make our voices heard by some, and now we go back to our daily lives watching this remarkable country change before our eyes?


This prospect has been on my mind since the event. What next? Do we have to have continuous events? Are we going to follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people? I sincerely hope this is not the case.


I realize we all have jobs and responsibilities, but if we actually want to see a real change in our society, we must stay engaged. We must write letters to the editor of our papers. We must engage our representatives. We must talk with our friends and engage people we may not have spoken to before.


In short, this must become a part of our lives. Our Founders realized this Grand Experiment was doomed without an engaged populace. We must aspire to meet this challenge – else we will allow these systematic changes to create a new America that most certainly will affect us and be passed onto our children.


In the midst of this consideration, I happened upon a most interesting and cogent letter: An Open Letter, to Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin by Donna Shouldis. This was posted on The Frederick News Post Forum and is hyperlinked above. Ms. Shouldis wrote a very well crafted letter which follows a very logical progression and I believe represents a number of people's (including my own) perspectives! I highly recommend reading this, but keep in mind, this forum is open, so others may have replied with comments that represent their own perspective.


This single letter may not change the mind of our Senator Cardin, but it gave me great hope to know others are staying engaged and trying to make a change. If each of us took the time to engage others in this fashion, a real change would occur in this nation. I am sure of that.


These Tea Parties were a start. They were not, as some propose, created by one party or one group. This was real grass roots activism in action. Many political representatives, activist, columnists, national radio talk show hosts, and others are trying to reap some credit for these events. That is both wrong and wrong-headed. This was and is the citizenry of this nation stepping forward.


We can and need to keep this going forward. Take some valuable time you have from work, home, and relaxation and make a difference. If you missed this one event, it does not mean you are not a part. This is one of the most inclusive actions in our recent history.


Each of us can make a difference because all of us can be engaged. Thank you, Ms. Shouldis, for keeping up my spirits. I look forward to reading others engaged actions.


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