by Diane Rufino, September 14, 2010
I went to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally two weeks ago, and then got right back into my van and drove back up to Washington D.C. for the 9/12 Rally. Beck told me to pick up my stick and I did. I went to DC, just as hundreds of thousands of other weary and exhausted Americans did – to be counted and to make sure that those in government know that the Tea Party movement is here to stay and it isn’t going anywhere. The Silent Majority is silent no more.
While the 9/12 Rally last year was organized by Glenn Beck, this year’s rally was organized and conducted by FreedomWorks and a coalition of Tea Party groups that included several national and local Tea Party organizations. Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project also was involved. For those who aren’t familiar with FreedomWorks, it is a conservative non-profit group based in the nation’s capital for the purpose of recruiting and training volunteers for events like the 9/12 rally. For those who aren’t familiar with the 9/12 Project, it is a non-political, personal responsibility group started by Glenn Beck and founded on principles and values. Just as its name suggests, it is founded on 9 principles and 12 values. [See the reference section].
While the rally may have been run a bit differently this year, the underlying goal is still as strong as ever. The goal of the 9/12 rally last year (specifically chosen on the anniversary of the most horrific attack on the US) was to “bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with red states, blue states, or political parties. We were united as Americans.” We should all be united as one when it comes to the fundamental interests of our country and not the interests of us as individuals. We have nothing if we don’t first have a strong country to protect us.
It’s been a long year since the 9/12 Rally of last year. A lot has changed. Most notably though, the Tea Party movement proved its longevity and solidified its significance and purpose. As FreedomWorks noted: “Where as last year was really kind of a coming out party for the national tea party movement – where we all gathered in the same place at the same time for the first time… All of the folks that came last year are now running local tea parties and really have built up the community back home where the real work needs to happen.”
The rally this year was about purpose and commitment. The Tea Party groups, as well as individual concerned citizens, came out to say that they will not be ignored. The Tea Party movement is here to stay. We are here now, we will be here on November 2, and we will still be here on November 3. In fact, this year’s rally was called “Remember in November.” As FreedomWorks explained: “It’s very political. It’s explicitly about politics. It’s about replacing bad officer holders with good office holders. Big government spenders will be replaced by small government conservatives.”
If anyone had any doubts that the rally was political, all they had to do was look at the signs. Each sign was more creative than the next. The issues ranged from Healthcare to Immigration, from tax reform to entitlement reform, from inflated government to inflated taxation, from government arrogance to government incompetence, from Cap & Trade to TARP (bail-outs), from runaway spending to running jobs out of the country, from lack of accountability to lack of morality, from a disregard of individual liberty to a disregard of the Constitution. Tea Party ingenuity was at its finest. Tea Party humor and grace were at its best. Even the portable toilets were duly decorated.
Speakers at the rally included headliners FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Andrew Breitbart, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Emily Weaver, a high school senior from Pittsburgh sang the National Anthem in such a sweet and skilled operatic voice. It was such a treat.
The day’s events began amidst some rain and ominous clouds when protesters gathered the Washington Monument for a non-denominational service led by Reverend C.L. Bryant (who also spoke at last year’s rally). Bryant is a former NAACP member who is now a Tea Party leader. They then marched down Pennsylvania Ave. where they met up with another group which had gathered at the Freedom Plaza. Then together, they marched down the street, to a thankful and cheering crowd, to the Capitol building where they gathered around the steps of the magnificent building. Estimates have placed the number of the protesters at approximately 2/3 of the group that gathered last year.
Dick Armey, current chairman of FreedomWorks and former US Representative from Texas’s 26th congressional district (1985–2003) and House Majority Leader (1995–2003), and his wife, led off the rally. “We do not have infinite resources in this country. This government is spending money it doesn’t have. We are in jeopardy of losing this country if we don’t stop the spending.”
“There’s only one power on Earth that is big enough to wreck this country, and that’s big government.” Quoting from Clint Eastwood’s film character Dirty Harry Callahan, Armey said: “A man’s got to know his limitations,” and added that it was time for the government to know its limitations.
Armey made reference to the Contract From America (see attached), which is a “contract” which lists 10 agenda items, voted upon by nationwide conservative groups, which they would like to see brought to a vote in the US Congress. These agenda items promote individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom. Those elected officials who seek the support of Tea Party groups, as well as other conservative groups, are asked to sign this Contract. The nice thing about this document is that it is a nationwide effort to make Washington more accountable to conservative principles. It helps remind us what we stand for as Tea Party members. It is a “bottom-up” document, meaning that it comes from the people, and that makes it all the more significant.
“The Democrats’ attitude is – ‘Sit down and shut up,’ ” Armey said. And perhaps it is this arrogance that fuels the Tea Party movement even further.
Mrs. Armey then took the microphone from her husband, and in a voice that began to choke up, pleaded: “I don’t want to die knowing that I was part of the generation that failed America. I don’t want to die knowing that I was part of the generation that lost this country.”
The next person to speak told protesters: “The Next Great American Revolution is about to begin !” He wanted to know if everyone was ready, and the crowd eagerly acknowledged that they are indeed.
My favorite part of the rally came when a Hispanic gentleman, Tito Munoz, took the microphone to speak. At first he announced that he forgot his speech but after a few seconds he was able to find it in his pocket. I had never heard of Munoz before, but it turns out that this gentleman is one of our most outspoken and passionate patriots. This past July, Munoz launched a conservative talk show for Hispanics in Virginia called “America Eres Tu” (America is YOU !) Tito is the Hispanic Joe the Plumber, and in fact, is referred to as “Tito the Builder.” His fiery speech on the steps of the capital is the one that got the crowds cheering and whistling.
Munoz addressed the crowd: “Nine years ago, on 9/11, I saw America being attacked. I said to my wife: ‘America needs my help.’ I decided to become an American citizen, and on September 27, 2008, I took the oath of citizenship and I to this day, I swear to defend this nation and the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. And we all know who the domestic enemies are !
Since then, I have a non-stop commitment to help protect our liberties. I have a job to do as an American…. to defend my country against tyranny and oppression. Obama’s policies burden our individual liberties and burden our economic freedom. Mr. President, I know who you are !! I know your socialistic philosophy. I know your Marxist-communist philosophy. I know your plan for our liberties and freedom. But know this… We will never surrender to your philosophy.
Mr. Obama, take off the mask and tell the American people that your plan is to replace life with life control, replace our abundant fundamental liberties with few liberties, and replace the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of hand-outs. Your plan is to punish those that work hard and contribute and reward those that don’t contribute. Mr. President, you travel all over the world and you bow to kings and other leaders. The American people do not bow to anyone except God. We only go on our knees when we pray to God.
I came to America to make it on my own – not to be a burden on the country, on the economy, or the American people. I came here to produce and not to take away. I came here to help and to be part of this nation. I came here to life free… free from big government, free from socialist government, and free from the oppression of politicians like Nancy Pelosi and the man who sits in the White House.
I am here because I am fighting back. I want to remain free and never to surrender to you, Mr. Obama, or your regime. I am a freedom fighter ! As our Founding Fathers fought the British redcoats, today we fight the socialist redcoats in Washington ! A socialist society is a government-controlled society.
Mr. President, I am an American and NOT a Hispanic or a latino. I am an American citizen and NOT a government indentured servant. Mr. President, I am an American. My name is Tito Munoz. I was born in Columbia but I was made in the U.S.A. !! God Bless America.”
Even though the day was dismal and overcast, spirits couldn’t have been brighter. Protesters were on genuinely happy to be in their nation’s capital, marching openly, and standing up for their country. It was a great afternoon for Tea Party folks to get together, for patriotic speeches, and for patriotic country music. Jon Davis performed ‘I’m American Made” and the Gatlin Brothers sang “God Bless America.” No one can ever accuse country singers of not loving their country.
After the Gatlin Brothers left center state, a leader of a Tea Party in Pennsylvania got up and told the protesters: “We are at a historic fork in the road. One direction leads to statism and the other direction leads back to small government, Constitutional government, to the principles our Founding Fathers, to liberty. If you are confused which direction to take, I’ll give you a hint….. It’s the Right direction.”
Representative Mike Pence was next to take the podium. He was the featured speaker of the day. He greeted the crowd with these words: “Welcome back to YOUR nation’s capital ! I’m sure the press will focus on numbers, but the only numbers that really matter are the numbers – 51, 218, and 1. In 51 days, there will be less than 218 Democrats elected to Congress and 1 liberal from San Francisco who will be out of a job !!”
He continued to saying: “The truth is that there is nothing that ails the government that couldn’t be solved by paying a little more attention to the Constitution of the United States. Luckily, the Pelosi-led Congress will soon be getting a crash course in what the term ‘consent of the governed’ means. We the governed do NOT consent to the government take-over of healthcare and we will not rest until we repeal Obamacare in its entirety. We do NOT consent to the run-away federal spending, by either party, and we demand an end to the bailouts once and for all. We do NOT consent to one more failed stimulus bill nor do we consent to higher taxes on any American during the worst economy in 25 years. Raising taxes on job creators won’t create jobs. And we will NOT compromise our economy to accommodate the class warfare rhetoric of the left and of this administration.
Times are tough. It’s becoming clearer every day. To paraphrase one of my heroes: ‘Depression is when you lose your job. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. And recovery is when Nancy Pelosi loses her job.
You’ve come to our nation’s capital at a historic moment in the life of this still-young republic… a nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We’ve lost respect in the world and we’re going broke. The American Dream is dying for millions. And our social, cultural, and moral fabric is unraveling. People are scared. If we do not succeed in November, all that was once good and great about this country can someday be gone. But we will remember in November, and we’ll remember every November that will follow, that not only do our rights come from the Constitution, but our duty to defend those rights is also enshrined in the Constitution. November 2nd isn’t about controlling the reigns of power; it’s about reigning in the power in the branches of government.
You do not fight alone. We will not fight alone. Engraved on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia are words from an ancient text, and it’s where the Liberty Bell gets her name. Those words read: ‘Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.’ In the same book it says: ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.’ Translation…. When we proclaim Liberty, when we do freedom’s work, we make His (God’s) work on this Earth our very own. So you see, we will not fight alone. When we stand up for liberty, we are standing up God and for the Constitution.
The time has come to take our stand. We must fight for what has always been the source of America’s greatness – a patron God and our freedom.
We will win back Congress in 2010 and we will win back our country in 2012.
We will Remember in November ! Let’s give them a November they will never forget !”
Andrew Breitbart, founder of Breitbart.com, the blogsite that broke the ACORN scandal, then took the stage and talked about how we are sick and tired of the mainstream media calling us names and diminishing our role. He reminded the Tea Party members and the other grassroots organizations of the power they hold: “We’re sick and tired of them…. As their profits go down because we’re saying ‘No’ to the free subscriptions, and as we’re turning to other channels and going on the internet where there is a free and open debate, something very strange is happening…. YOU became the media. You took their jobs because they wouldn’t do their jobs right. How do I know that? Because my media empire is YOU. You’re the ones who report and write for me. You’re doing the job they refuse to do. I’m not the one with a private jet or a house out on Montauk, Long Island. I’ve got two car payments and a mortgage I can’t afford. I want to save the country just like you do. That is what we do. That is why we do what we do. We are citizens who love our country and we’re going to take it back.”
Towards the very end of the rally, Ken Cuccinelli stepped up and faced a roaring crowd. In the eyes of those who respect States’ rights, Cuccinelli is quite a hero. While other states’ attorney generals cowered to the challenge, he picked up his stick. His message was specifically about the healthcare bill, what it will do to individual liberty and the delicate balance of power between the government and the states, and his state’s lawsuit over the government’s attempt at nationalizing healthcare.
Cuccinelli said: “If the federal government can order you to buy Nancy-approved health insurance, they can order you to buy anything. And then not only have we eliminated a government of enumerated powers, we no longer have the compound republic we call Federalism. States no longer matter and that is one of the goals of this Congress and this administration. And in Virginia, where it all began, we’re going to fight it until it ends.
When I took my oath of office, I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to protect it, including from our own federal government. And that’s what we’re doing in this lawsuit.
You know, in 1774, at the First Continental Congress, they all signed on to a document that said that they ‘cheerfully acknowledged’ Parliament’s right to regulate their commerce, and in that same document, they all committed to boycotting British goods. Well, across the Atlantic Ocean, King George wasn’t too happy. And the Parliament wasn’t real happy either. And they called in their lawyers and those lawyers told the King that the Colonists were obviously well-advised legally because while they had come up to the line, they managed to stay within the law. And while Parliament wanted to punish the Colonists for their boycotts, it acknowledged that it couldn’t legally compel them to buy British products. King George III and the Parliament of Great Britain, the ones this nation rebelled against, respected the liberty of the Colonists of America. How sad of a statement is it that a nation that once wanted to dominate and subjugate us respected our states’ rights more than our own Congress and President does now.
I hope in another year and a half or so, I’ll come back here to a building only two blocks away to restore the balance of power between the States and the federal government and to kill the Healthcare Reform bill. And in doing so, we will fulfill the role of the States as foreseen by our Founding Fathers.
Your state’s Attorney General is your last line of defense in protecting the Constitution against the federal government. True, it may be the last line of defense but I’ve got news for you, it’s not a quiet one, we’re not asleep on our watch, and we’re going to fight until we’ve got our Constitution back and we’ve knocked the federal government back inside the boundaries of that sacred document.
Now this isn’t the only fight we have with the government at this time (reference to their immigration lawsuit), but it’s the one I’ll talk to you today. I’d rather not be fighting with my own country’s government, and I’d never thought I’d see the day I did so, but I recognize my role as Attorney General. I will uphold the oath I swore, and we will fight our own government, through the courts and even in the ballot boxes in November 2nd, for as long as it takes and as long as we have to, in order to restore the Founder’s vision and to apply it now in the 21st century.
God Bless you all and God Bless America.”
It is already mid-September. In only a month and a half, Americans will exercise one of the greatest rights they possess as an American.… the right to have their voice heard by their government. Who will they choose to speak for them? Will it be someone who truly has the heart and soul to speak honestly and faithfully for them? Will it be someone who fundamentally loves and respects this country as they do? Will it be someone who understands on the ground level how horribly off-track this country has gotten and how disdainful the government has become of We the People? Will it be someone who believes that the decay and corruption in government has to stop? Will it be someone who understands and respects our founding documents? Will it be someone who understands that We the People have our greatest exercise of freedom when government remains small?
We have arrived at a precipice. Will we go ahead and jump headfirst into the abyss of endless government growth and spending? Will we jump headfirst into a dark unknown from which we might never again see the light of day as a free and robust and resilient people? Or will we safely retreat backwards and return to the shelter and comfort of our Founders and their Constitution?
Times are tough today and many may be tempted to turn to the government for all its needs and wants. But remember, times will swing back and there will be prosperity once again. And you won’t be able to ask for your personal freedom back. You won’t need to be personally responsible because no one else will be. The government will become even more irresponsible than the people. It’s already headed in that direction. There will be so many laws that everyone will unintentionally break one law or another. And then when you do, the government can take whatever rights you had remaining. There will be so many laws that no one will understand them and it will be anarchy. You go to the zoo and feel sorry for the caged lion or the caged tiger. Their wild spirits have been broken. They wait for the attendant. They wait for their meals. That will be every American citizen if the government continues on its present course. You may think you need the government to take care of you, but how will you explain it to your grandchildren one day when they want to enjoy all their God-given freedoms and live the true American dream but can’t. How will you feel when one day your grandchildren have the mind and the drive to be successful but the government tells them that they can only enjoy their success after everyone else in the country first is able to live as good as them and enjoy the same things that they do. It’s sad to see a wounded youthful spirit. Once you ask the government to be your personal benefactor, you sign away your rights and you can’t get them back. Once you sell your soul to the proverbial Devil, you can’t get it back. History and destiny will continue to march forward.
Alexis de Tocqueville once proclaimed to all the world that the reason America was able to be so successful so quickly was because of the enormous value it placed on individual liberty. While the nations of Europe placed a much greater value on equality (equal things, equal positions) than they did on Liberty, and suffered greatly for it, America placed its value in human liberty. Americans cherished their liberty. As he wrote in his book Democracy in America: “I contend that in order to combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy – namely, freedom.”
Freedom is always the right answer. Freedom is always worth fighting for.
REFERENCES: http://www.thehotjoints.com/2010/09/13/video-tito-the-builder-munoz-delivers-fiery-speech-at-912-rally/ (Tito Munoz’s speech)
http://www.breitbart.tv/live-stream-912-protest-washington-dc/ (Andrew Breitbart)
http://projectvirginia.com/video-of-cuccinelli-at-the-912-rally/ (Cuccinelli’s speech)
http://www.thecontract.org/support/ (Contract from America)
http://www.the912project.com/the-912-2/ (9/12 Project)
Note: How did Andrew Breitbart break the ACORN scandal? Well, he originally went to the mainstream media with the report of ACORN corruption, but no one was interested. He was told it wasn’t newsworthy. Apparently the fact that ACORN, one of Obama’s most powerful political support groups, having ties to corruption was nothing the American people should know about. So he broke the corruption by airing the video “hooker” scandal which then forced the media, against its will, to break the corruption story.
CONTRACT FROM AMERICA We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.
Individual Liberty Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.
Limited Government The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.
Economic Freedom The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.
1. Protect the Constitution Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)
2. Reject Cap & Trade Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)
3. Demand a Balanced Budget Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)
6. End Runaway Government SpendingImpose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)
9. Stop the Pork Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)
10. Stop the Tax Hikes Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)
THE 9/12 PROJECT: The 9 Principles and 12 Values
The 9 Principles are – 1. America Is Good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday. Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government. Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it. Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion. On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me. Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson