The Richmond TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party exceeded all expectations. I arrived late to see people already leaving and more arriving. While some estimates ranged as high as 5000 attendees, I would say there were roughly 3500 there while I attended. Even in drizzly, chilly weather, the crowd was energized. They were clearly willing to back up their beliefs with action. Many pledged not to vote for a candidate who raises their taxes. They responded to the speakers with cheers of “U.S.A.,” honored veterans, sang patriotic songs and chanted “thank you” to the organizers. They promised to be ready when called upon to act. Some attended in costume as a founding father. I would estimate that over 1000 homemade signs or banners were present – including dozens of Gadsden flags.
There has been a lot of chatter about why people came out to protest. It’s simple really – and it’s not just about tax rates. It’s about the future of the country. People who have good jobs and families and love their country came out in the rain to say that they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Spending and borrowing and taxing our way into oblivion stimulates nothing – except the people who are already are wanting a different sort of change.
Senator Cuccinelli was shaking hands until only a few lingering party-goers were left in the twilight. One man was even spotted sporting a “Brownlee” sticker. Many in the crowd and from the podium expressed suspicion of politicians in general. Everyone seemed to know of the MIAC and DHS reports – strangers traded serious and humorous comments over being on the “watch” list.
Update: More coverage from UCV