Ever since Rick Santelli expressed his outrage on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last February, “tea party” protests have been springing up across the country. In his rant, he (angrily) makes the point that “the government is promoting bad behavior” and that “you can’t buy your way into prosperity”.
Since then, ”tea party” rallies have become a way for the average citizen to express how they feel about government tax and spend policies. (Read about the Denver protest at Peoples Press Collective, where you will also find plenty of photos and video of the event). And while I am very happy with the amazing turnout across the nation, which you can read about on the Tax Day Tea Party site, I am now wondering – what’s next? Will the momentum continue, urging people to get involved and stay involved? Will people feel they have done their part and they need not do more? And lastly, what does it mean to get involved? Does that mean I have to draft a bill that congress will want to pass? Run for office? Organize a march on Washington? What I really want to know is….will it require a lot of hard work?
The answer to the last question is answered by each individual in their own way; and my answer is that it can be yes or no. What I am afraid of now that the tea parties are over, is that even though we made some great signs and talked about what needs to be done in Washington, most people are going to go back to being complacent and sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to do something. This may be for the simple reason that they just don’t know what to do. Or they may feel that they just don’t have the time.
Making a difference can be done in many different ways, and everyone has their own talents. Do you like to write? Start a blog. Write a letter to the editor. Send an email to your legislature about somthing they are doing that is upsetting you. Like to talk? Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your co-workers while standing around the water cooler. Talk to your friends while at the bar. Tell them that what Washigton is doing will effect them. Teach them about the free market and why it works. This doesn’t mean getting into an argument. We all need to learn to talk to our friends and family, whether they be politically minded or not, and explain in rational, logical and friendly terms why this country is about to give up the very thing that has elevated it (and millions upon millions in poverty) to the highest levels of prosperity this world has ever seen. What politicians are trying to rid America of is capitalism (not that we’ve had anything close to that since the 1920’s) and the idea that it works. For many years capitalism has been seen as a bad word by many, and we need to change that. It may be done by simply explaining what it means. So first step, know exactly that! I liked Merriam-Webster’s definition, but it is also worth while to read the definition given in the Ayn Rand lexicon, as it is crucial to understand the morality of capitalism if you wish to best defend it.
In addition to writing and talking you can make yourself seen. This can be as simple as showing up at a rally similar to the tea party rallies. This is a good way to get your ideas and views out in the media, whether it be mainstream or not. You have the ability to put the pictures up yourself. With Facebook, Myspace, Meetup and Flicker being out there in addition to free blog sites, there is no reason the internet shouldn’t be flooded with pro-freedom statements for all to see. You could also make a youtube video arguing for liberty (just make it good or else no one will watch it!). I’ve seen a youtube video with a guy just sitting in front of the camera explaining why Keynesian economics works (it doesn’t), get over 100,000 views. And this guy is just an average guy, completely unqualified to speak on the matter! If you can take a day off, show up to a legislative committee hearing if there is a bill you think is important to pass or important to kill.
What I am trying to say is that everyone who wants to can be doing something to spread liberty, without taking an entire day, week or month to do it. If everyone found something that they could do (big or small) it would make a huge difference in the liberty movement. It is my hope that Liberty on the Rocks will help to provide the middle ground for individuals to get together and figure out what to do next.
What will you do?