We're in our little hotel room in downtown Atlanta. The kids lasted through a little more than half of the program, which is really good. It's hard--they're little and can't see anything and it was SO crowded. I've heard estimates ranging from 16,000 - 20,000 attendees! BIG jump from the 400-500 at the first tea party back in February!
Here are a few pictures of the kids holding their signs:
Ryan told me he was glad he went, even though it was hard to see things.
One especial highlight was meeting up with John of the blog John & Ansley! VERY cool! I'm looking forward to meeting Ansley and their little guy this Sunday. :o) I think John got a pic or two and I'm hoping he'll share!
So--my speech. We were so far away from the big screens that it was hard to see, what with all of the sign-waving and of course the big tree in our way. We were just hanging around throwing snacks at the kids and bouncing the baby, when suddenly I realized that MY VOICE was being projected across the crowd. I think my speech was about halfway over by the time I heard it. I think I said "Hey, that's me!" And there was clapping at the end of it, no booing, so I suppose it went all right.
Here is the text of it (but it may be somewhat different from what I actually said, since I changed words around here and there and I have no idea which version they used):
Twenty years ago, I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, a fictional story in which an economy collapses under the weight of government regulations, regulations that were enacted out of a sense of “helping others"--altruism, regulations that tried to make failing businesses succeed by making it the moral and legal duty of the citizens to support them.
Never did I imagine that I would see a time in which elements of Atlas would come true in America: the bailouts, the “stimulus,” extensive government involvement in private business, more and more money being extracted from taxpayers and redistributed for cause after cause, increasing regulations that infringe on individual freedoms…
I support the tea party efforts because I advocate a return to the principles upon which our Founding Fathers created this country: Freedom. Individual Rights. Personal Responsibility.
Without a government that protects individual rights, American citizens like you and me are not free to pursue our dreams, to take risks, to live our lives.
I do not want my government to support me and my family.
I want FREEDOM.
I want a government that will protect my rights—and yours, too. I want government officials who understand that they work for me —and not the other way around.
I'm extremely grateful to Jenny Beth Martin for providing me the opportunity to record my statement! If I get a hold of a copy of the video, I'll be sure to post it!
And now I must turn this computer back over to Brendan who is about a zillion years behind on work and is very kindly wrangling The People while I compose this post.