I’m pleased to announce that the Tea Party gathering in downtown Harrisonburg on Tax Day went quite well. Coming on the back of the recent JMU riot, I suppose some folks feared the worst from a political gathering like this one. (If you missed hearing about the JMU fiasco, head on over to hburgnews for the story.) Despite some liberals’ misgivings, the only message was principled politics, not personal hatred. Unlike events elsewhere, there were no signs threatening violence and no signs calling for Obama’s head. All they asked was for limited government and liberty. Although sometimes people from other parts of the state and country malign citizens of the Shenandoah Valley as backwards and rednecks, I’m pleased to say that we have enough decency and common sense to act in a dignified manner. (To return to that JMU matter, you should know that most of the people charged with felonies and misdemeanors were neither JMU students nor Valley residents.)
Along with the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party members, were former Senator George Allen, former RPV chairwoman Kate Obenshain, Americans for Prosperity’s Ben Marchi, and Senator Mark Obenshain. They all gave impassioned speeches in favor of our shared principles. I don’t know how many hundreds of people were gathered on the courthouse grounds yesterday, but you can use my pictures to get a rough estimation. Fortunately, the day was blessed with perfect weather.
I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to see so many of my fellow citizens getting involved. But, simply showing up for an event is the easy part. We must stay active in politics and constantly promote our principles whether it is through the local tea party, the Republican committee, or some other means. A word of warning, however, is that we cannot and must not be complacent, marginalized, co-opted, or taken for granted. Then, and only then, can we create the real change we need in our city, our state, and in our country.
Thank you Shenandoah Valley Tea Party. Y’all enjoy the photos!