“Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,” was the bellowing cry of the patriot-hero from the dystopian classic V for Vendetta. Such a battle cry was used to commemorate Guy Fawkes’s attempt to destroy British Parliament and all of the corruption it housed in 17th century England. Corruption and tyranny are a natural, degenerative characteristic of any society. It takes the remembrance and dedication of a society to their founding principles and values to sustain a free society rid of power hungry tyrants and dictators.
It also happens, ironically, that the fifth of November marked the arrival of the Tea Party Express, a traveling political awareness group that organizes conservative political rallies on the steps of state capitols across the nation. It is TPE’s goal to reinvigorate American citizens and bring America back to its conservative roots.
My mother came down from Tulsa to go to the rally with me. You don’t often find that kind of patriotism anymore; driving an hour and a half to go to an hour-long rally to support our nation’s welfare. It was 5:45 when we arrived at the steps of the capitol building in Oklahoma City. It was a beautiful night and the sun was just beginning to set. There at the capitol were already over a thousand people assembled for one virtuous cause: freedom. The Tea Party Express bus had not yet showed up to the capitol, so in the meantime the MC for the evening was allowing ordinary citizens use the microphone to address the assembly about their concerns and feelings pertaining to the way our government is currently being run. Most were people concerned about their freedoms being taken away, like their right to choose their own health care. Others were simply there to encourage and thank everyone for being dutiful in involving themselves in the cause of restoring liberty to our nation.
At one point a man was talking about the issue of health care. He explained adamantly that it was not simply a matter of reforming the health care system; rather, it was a matter of freedom and liberty. He went on to say that the ideas of restoring freedom and liberty may seem overzealous and silly; however, it truly is an issue that we should be concerned with. The man explained that when you give away your rights to the government, it is near impossible to regain them.
Now, as a college student I am often too busy to keep up with such issues and don’t have much time to watch the news or read the paper. I was stunned to see how fervently these ordinary citizens sought to defend their God-given rights as Americans. I typically hear of political issues and dismiss them as having not much to do with me. How wrong I was! It is the innate responsibility of every American citizen to take interest in our country’s welfare and fight for the protection of the rights so many men before us have died for. The stories of everyday men and women sharing their views and their hardships gave me a whole different view of liberty. These people were mad, and demanded reparation for the blunders of the current administration. I was appalled when someone explained how much money the government had given to banks and other institutions, basically rewarding them for their own incompetence. One person reminded the audience that such actions as the government acting as a national bank and lender is one of the pillars of a socialist government. How had we strayed so far? I thought to myself.
Then, finally, the bus arrived with its ardently patriotic crew. Before any of the crew addressed the growing crowd, a local pastor from Oklahoma City opened the rally with a prayer. The bustling mass of people immediately grew silent to pay respect to a God long forgotten by the leaders of our nation. I was moved by the conviction with which this pastor spoke. He spoke of the discarded reverence of which our nation used to have for the one and only God. He spoke of the faith of men like Abraham Lincoln who once led our nation. The culmination of the prayer ended in a resounding Amen, one which I knew was a genuine plea for God to restore just leaders to a crumbling nation.
Mark Williams, a political analyst and author who frequently speaks on MSNBC and FOX News, was the next to speak. Mark is a Republican in name only. He explained that our current political situation is not an issue of right vs. left, or Republican vs. Democrat. Rather, it is a situation of right vs. wrong. Mark explained that our nation was founded on conservative values such as responsibility, frugality, moderation, and faith. He brought up the famous quote of the brilliant American statesman, Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” We are currently in an era with a surplus of tyrants like Obama and his political machines and corrupt band of czars, and in need of more concerned patriots. Williams went on to encourage the audience with the news of recent governor victories by conservatives in states like Virginia and New Jersey, both of which overwhelmingly supported Obama in the last election.
The evening went on with more passionate speakers set on the rejuvenation of our nation. One speaker, an OB/GYN doctor, said that, in his professional opinion, the next elections will be like giving Washington a giant enema. By the end of the evening the some 2,000 or more modern day patriots were filled to the brim with passion and a zealous desire to change America.
“Remember, remember the fifth of November,” a fictitious patriot once said. And, indeed, I will remember the fifth of November of 2009. It was a day which served to open my eyes to how quickly a nation can fall to the false promises of hope and change at the hands of a sneaky dictator. I was reminded of the values of our nation and that the strength of such should lie in the hands of the people and not in those of the government. For a people should not fear its government, rather, a government should fear its people.