E.V. tea party shows grass-roots frustration - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

E.V. tea party shows grass-roots frustration

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Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:43 pm | Updated: 1:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

There’s a rumbling. Compared to the election shrill of the past two years, it’s so small it may not be noticed. Yet.

Americans, most who make up the center and soul of this nation, are awakening. Admittedly, some were lulled during the election into believing that fancy promises might make a difference.

Turns out, neither political party is worth a whit, some honorable members are powerless, others corrupt, others have questionable agendas. Now, deep cuts are required in critical services amid massive bailouts from the U.S. Treasury. Our own state coffers are in crisis.

There appears to be only one end to this: Cutting more lean meat off taxpayers’ haunches in response to more lost jobs and a weakened free-market system under attack. It amounts to this: Growing citizen polarization; a nation in conflict.

And now, word on the street is the “silent majority” is back.

Depending on your news sources, perhaps you’ve heard of the nationwide tea parties planned for Wednesday with more than a dozen across Arizona. Don’t underestimate them. Historians tell us that the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a pivotal event in the American Revolutionary movement, and you know how that turned out.

Many of my neighbors are feeling affinity with those who fought before. Families are seeing their sacrifices slipping away. Many feel powerless; others are panicked. It comes to this — maybe camaraderie with strangers of similar concerns will help a soul sleep better tonight.

What can you do? Nonpartisan promoters say, “Join hands with us, come and find support.” Many will protest at the state Capitol between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday. Or in the East Valley, at noon drop by 50 E. Civic Center at the Gilbert municipal complex, south of Warner Road on Gilbert Road.

Look for Denna and Steve Ray, native Arizonans who grew up in Mesa; parents of 10 children and 20 grandchildren. Their pivotal moment came with the birth of their 20th, just two weeks ago. Steve wonders what kind of world Gracie Ann faces. He points to government spending and intrusion into citizen lives. He fears it all has the potential to redefine Memorial Day.

“Instead of honoring their dead, our children will be mad as heck for what we’ve done to them,” he said. Not only will they be paying off our debt in dollars, “I wonder if they’ll pay with their lives to restore their sovereignty.”

Steve, a consultant and former general contractor, and Denna, a retired teacher, told me their love of country compels them to be involved. Several weeks ago, Denna signed up to organize the Gilbert Tea Party. Within the hour, she heard from eight people. Within days, she was getting 40 to 50 e-mails a day.

Steve, her media liaison, understands that some media won’t respond to the issues of this day’s rallies; their agenda, he figures, is in support of the “socialistic” road. Interestingly, there are networks that criticize Fox News for its planned coverage across the nation. Wonder why.

How far will this go? Depends on you. Click on Arizona on taxdayteaparty.com for additional information. None of us has all the answers, but we know this for sure: Vigilance is our civic duty. Wednesday’s a good day to start.

Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former veteran Phoenix television news anchor who lives in the East Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at letters@lindastake.com.

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