Leaving Cameron Village on Saturday we came across a couple of cars with flags following each other. If you’ve lived in the area for more than fifteen minutes you know this could be sports fans from any one of a number of schools in the area. On closer inspection I realized they cars were not flying the colors of NCSU, UNC, Duke, Shaw, Meredith or even Peace these cars had the historic Gadsden flag (aka Don’t Tread on Me). We carefully moved in closer to investigate as they made their way onto Hillsborough Street and saw their web address written on the car window – www.rollingteaparty.com. Until I saw this I had no idea that the Tea Party crowd had adopted the Gadsden flag and the Navy Jack as their banners of choice. An interesting pick to say the least and quite honestly an interesting protest.
Did you come here because you saw the website name on a car today (or recently?) You witnessed a Rolling Tea Party – the goal was to deliver our message via this single website. The hundreds of cars that traveled the streets of Raleigh today, advertising this website, were participating in yet another rally of Americans against yet another abuse of power by government.
Issues listed on their website include – Kill the 1% NC Sales Tax Hike, Don’t “Cap” Our Economy, Immigration and Anchor Babies, Throw the Bums Out, and An Unconstitutional Amendment? All appear to be from the more conservative side of the political arena. Issues that are all uniquely complex and unfortunately deserve more time and discussion than what they get either in the media or in person. Most of this small site seems to push forward to a Constitutional Town Hall site which appears to be something of a “hub” for activities like this across the state – if you haven’t seen them yet (and there really are more than the three we saw) expect to see them soon in a town near you across North Carolina.
Anyway – as I’ve said before protests and rallies don’t do a whole lot for me. I think it creates an environment where logical discussion is drowned out with slogans and sound bites. It tends to anger the individuals that disagree and a reasonable solution isn’t found. My suggestions?
First – if you haven’t – read the Federalist Papers. I know – they are tough to digest and honestly I haven’t read them all but it really helps put the U.S. Constitution in perspective. No this isn’t just my opinion – a fun little group called the Supreme Court uses them when trying to decipher the intentions of the framers of the Constitution.
Second – understand that if every problem were as simple as yes or no we wouldn’t have any problems. I do commend this group for addressing complex problems but complex problems rarely have simple solutions. Unfortunately we have to pay taxes to pay for many of the things that we enjoy in this country and yes illegal immigration is a problem but it really supports our economy in a way that prevents us from “sending everyone home.” We need really thoughtful solutions not inoperable sound bites.
Third – write. Don’t put a flag on your car. Don’t hold another rally. Take what you’ve learned in step one, apply the logic in step two and sit down and write down your ideas in step three. And I don’t mean write them in your diary. Write your local, state and federal representatives. Write your local newspaper and write on your blogs, twitter and facebook pages. And really? Kill the form letter already.
Be a Hamilton or a Madison – I don’t know if either one of them ever had a flag on their horse but for some reason I kind of doubt it. Hopefully the next time I see you it will be published locally and stirring the debate of how we solve the problems we face.