Across our nation, Colorado, and most particularly, in Larimer County, the April 15 TEA Parties were remarkable events. Thousands of Colorado citizens (7,000 at the State Capitol, 2,000 in Fort Collins, close to 1,000 in Loveland and 300 in Estes Park) took to the streets for more reasons than to simply protest Tax Day. These were rallies for freedom.
I had the privilege of joining the rally at the State Capitol. Similar to the TEA [Taxed Enough Already] parties across the nation, we were standing for our inalienable rights of life, liberty and property.
Also remarkable was who attended. It was not just the political activists. It was the average citizen who has had enough of our government’s reckless disregard for liberty.
I met a man from my hometown of Berthoud on the steps of the Capitol who shared with me his story. He was a high school dropout, who returned to earn his GED, and now owns a roofing company that just passed $1,000,000 in revenue. This man gets it. He can pursue his dreams because he is free, not because of a subsidy or a bailout.
These were peaceful demonstrations of the fact that the people of Colorado know they are more qualified than their government to direct their personal lives. More government spending is not the solution. Imposing more regulations, fees and taxes is not the solution.
Honoring and defending our liberties is the solution — and the legitimate role of good government.
It should also be noted that, even though the crowd was more Republican than Democrat, it was not a partisan gathering. Every political party was represented. As we have all seen in the past several years, no political party label is immune from the siren song of government growth. Neither is good government exclusive to any party. The real issues are, at their core, the same as what our founding fathers wrestled with in the 19th century.
Here, in 21st century America, we do not have the tyranny of a king to contend with. Instead, we have a bloated government bureaucracy and the failed notion that the collective values of the state are more important than the individual’s inalienable rights and responsibilities.
At the time of the State Capitol TEA Party, there was a window open in the House Chambers. As the crowd gathered, the chairman ordered that the window be shut so that the proceedings in the House could go on, uninterrupted by the cheers of the thousands of people outside. This was a tragedy, as all the people were asking for was that their representatives listen to them. This was a real world example of the reason for these TEA parties: Legislators need to listen to the people they represent and respect their liberties. The Legislature needs to get it.
The TEA parties showed that many of Colorado’s citizens get it. They know that we cannot spend our way to prosperity. We must earn it.
Sen. Kevin Lundberg