Unfortunately, I could only steal away from work for about 35 minutes to spend at the Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Philadelphia (I have to earn money to in turn give it to Uncle Sam, after all). That was enough, however, to take in a remarkable sight — about 300 people came out at noon, on a work day, in a driving rainstorm, in liberal Philadelphia. I was amazed. Absolutely flabbergasted.
Eric Shawn from the Fox News Channel was there, as were representatives from several local television stations. The people were as energized as I’ve ever seen, the signage even more focused than I had even hoped. This wasn’t about Barack Obama. This wasn’t about liberal or conservative or libertarian or left or right or center — it was about right and wrong, it was about big government versus small. It was about America, as She was founded, and as She has been abandoned by our elected officials.
I had hoped, actually, that today’s reflective piece would be a little more than my account of a too-short period of time spent at the event. I had hoped, actually, that this space would be occupied with the text of a speech which stirred me to my core, which inspired me like I haven’t been in a long, long time. The speech was given by Jesse Civello, a 16-year-old high school student who, standing in his bow tie and his braces, absolutely brought down the house. With any luck, I’ll be able to get in touch with Mr. Civello, and you can read his words and feel his passion. His voice is one that needs to be heard, and his words, coming from his 16-year-old soul, are more than enough to provide a much needed shot of optimism in America’s future.
All in all, the protests in Philadelphia and beyond looked like a great success. But they will only be a success if they are the beginning of a movement, not its fruition. We need to stir passions not only on rainy Wednesdays in Philadelphia, but every day of every week in every town and city from sea to shining sea.