16-year-old Jesse Civello brings down the house at the Philadelphia Tea Party
It’s not often that I’m speechless. The size of my mouth and its propensity to be wide open–spewing right-wing extremism, of course–makes me who I am. Two days ago, however, when I was able to spend a few minutes at the Tax Day Tea Party protest here in the City of Brotherly Love, I was rendered absolutely speechless, save for the irresistible urge to nudge a similarly wide-eyed stranger next to me and whisper, “this kid is good.”
Jesse Civello is sixteen years old. He is a student at Cheltenham High School here in the Philadelphia area. His dream is to one day become a United States Senator. I can believe it.
Day in and day out, reading what I read and hearing what I hear, it is sometimes difficult to be optimistic. As a father of a wonderful little three-year-old girl, I am especially concerned for our future. As a law student who, despite attending school at night, spends a good deal of time with just-out-of-college younger students, it is especially trying at times to find promise in a sea of progressive thought and vacuum nearly devoid of common sense.
Jesse Civello, standing behind the podium in his bowtie and his braces, should be cause enough to renew that boundless optimism in us all. The videos here show most of Jesse’s remarks; I encourage all of you to watch them, but only after you read his speech in full. In the meantime, I hope–scratch that . . . I know you will enjoy his statement as much as I did.
If this is the future of America, I’m going to sleep well tonight.
Jesse Civello — Tea Party Remarks
Philadelphia, April 15, 2009
My fellow patriots, the clouds of socialism have reached our horizon. The passion of freedom has been shaken, and the voice of democracy has released its call.
The patriotic warning of a government too big. The resonating voice of a nation unheard. And the squalor of an administration too concerned with bailouts to see a revolution brewing.
What are We the People to do, when it seems the power players have yet to listen? What are We the People to do when our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has become a disappearing dream?
My friends, the answers lie in the rich history of these fifty United States of America that we call home. We will turn the pages of history in our quest to write our own, and on that journey we will discover the passion of our founding fathers and the resolve of our independence.
The year was 1776 and the day was the Fourth of July. It was a hot July day in the city of Philadelphia and our founding fathers had just adopted the Declaration of Independence. The radical thought of independence was spreading across the thirteen colonies and the signal for revolution had been issued. The armed American Revolution lasted 8 years, in which more than 25,000 Americans perished under the banner of revolution. Today, I stand before you on the same streets of freedom that our founding fathers have marked, and with the most pride and prejudice I declare that, today, we make history under the same banner of revolution of which our past brothers and sisters have fought, and together we can put an end to the silenced majority.
Our revolution is not an armed conflict. Quite the contrary. Our revolution is a peaceful, yet powerful signal to our neighbors, to our leaders, and to the world, a signal that the American people will no longer sit back and watch the debt of our country soar well over 11 trillion dollars, without the transparency that the American people deserve when it comes to our tax dollars.
When Congress decided to bail out the auto industry, the American people had no say. When Congress decided to bail out Wall Street, the American people had no input. It’s time now that the political leaders of our country extend that courtesy–and frankly the right–to the people, so that We the People can decide where our tax dollars are going.
When Congress decided to Recover and Reinvest in America, with President Obama’s economic stimulus package, the American people once again had no voice. The problem lies right within the title of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” The problem is that the leaders of our country stopped investing in the American people years ago, and now all of the sudden they believe they can reinvest with the single largest expenditure in American history, towering at 787 billion dollars. I stand here and I say “no, absolutely not.” Not on our watch. Not on our dollar.
When the leaders of country stopped listening to us, they stopped investing.
When the President signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he proved he wasn’t willing to listen. Now, when the leaders of our country ask the people to submit to the undue burden of unconscionable spending, we are here to rise up and say “no, absolutely not.” Not on our watch. Not on our dollar.
To be naïve enough to believe that reinvesting in the American people now after ignoring our cries will change the economic situation is simply idiotic. Let us once again go back in history and discover the path to a true recovery.
We start with our founding fathers. They understood the meaning of a consistent investment in the patriots of America, the American dream, and the future of the American people.
They realized that, by encouraging the spirit of the American dream to soar high, entrepreneurship would lead America to the head of the line. Currently, we continue to battle small business owners with over-taxation and laws that make the spirit of competitiveness unrealistic.
We need to understand that America is the greatest country in the world, not because we have fifty states and fifty capitals but because we had a spirit that led to hard work above all, a determination to succeed against all odds, and the support of a government who realized the beauty of all American people from all walks of life.
The solution we seek from our founding fathers is this: encourage the worker to work for himself and find success, tax only what is necessary, and the worker will give back to the American dream with ingenuity what they aren’t forced to give back in taxes. Allow the small business owner to accomplish their dreams without the shadow of big government, and I promise that America will once again recover. The American spirit of greatness is stronger than the shadow of big government.
When in the history of our great country did our leaders stop listening to the people? The answer is simple: our leaders stopped listening when they realized that when people are silent, they can get away with greed and excessive power. The government has learned to silence the people with fear and determination; they have made us believe that 787 billion dollars of tax payer money is the only way to American recovery. Once again, history shows quite the contrary.
I tell the Obama administration, from the truths of history, to open the doors to the American people so that the solutions of today can be the American solutions of tomorrow and not the ownership of foreign countries through our debt.
Listen to what we are saying today and tomorrow, and together we will find the solutions. Right now, we are stuck in the middle of an economic situation what has turned crisis because government has become blind to the individual American and instead has turned to special interest groups who whisper the tales of the necessity of big government spending. The truth of the matter is that, if the Obama administration decides to reverse its policy of shutting out the voice of the people, America can tomorrow be greater than ever before. I plead the right of the people to talk, the obligation of the government to listen, and action of the country to move forward.
The Obama administration needs to stop investing with American dollars and start reinvesting in the American people, with an honest and transparent government that welcomes the concerns and suggestions of the American people.
It’s time our government has reexamined the concerns of its people, and the truths of our convictions.
It’s time the government listens to the people talk. The time has come for the government to truly follow its creed of public service and be fiscally responsible, morally approachable, and free from the chains of politics.
I have no doubt that we will rise above the politics of our current situation. Today, we show the leaders of our country that, on April 15, 2009, people from all walks of life came together across the country to protest the irresponsible spending of their tax dollars, starting a revolutionary movement to declare that people must have a say in their government. Today, we stand and say, “no, absolutely not.” Not on our watch. Not on our dollar.
I pray the ignorance that surrounds Washington, D.C. will be swept away and the reform of people above politics will take hold.
Thank you, and God Bless America!