Mood of Tea Party crowds tense

By Steele Coddington | September 16, 2009

Obama agenda under fire
PHOENIX – The “We the People Tea Party” at the state capitol last Saturday, largely unreported by local media, was a party of discontent. Security estimated the crowd at 3,000, peacefully but loudly displaying their grievances via responses to speakers and visibly with a colorful display of signs. The crowds sent the government in Washington a series of concise and specific messages reflecting a deep malaise with the agenda they are forcing down the country’s throat. Both Congressional majorities and President Obama were repeatedly described in angry terms that unmistakably opposed “Obama and his radical programs.”

Hundreds of signs carried by a crowd of kids, grandparents and everyone in-between left no doubt as to the specific grievances. All the messages reflected angry disagreement with the entire range of controversial packages passed or contemplated by the commonly described “radicals in Washington.” A major focus of criticism and worry centered on the emerging image of the President as a radical with an agenda destructive of capitalism, aided and abetted by the most radical fringe groups in America.

tea party in phoenix
Questioning of individuals throughout the morning as to why they felt it necessary to appear ran the gamut. But the universal and militant expression of concern was the unelected czars appointed by Obama – and the fear that their radicalism revealed his own convictions. Multiple signs compared pictures and printed words relating Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc. to Stalin, Lenin and Marx – a concise indictment reflected in the message of one – “CZARS TO COMMISSARS – OBAMA’S REAL GOAL.” One large sign carried by Keith Perry from Phoenix, expressed an opinion of ACORN, and he agreed with many in the crowd. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever been worried enough to attend something like this. Congress is not listening to us. We don’t want outrageous spending and more spending or communist radicals so close to the President.”

Significant energy was devoted to the evils of taxes and spending. State Treasurer Dean Martin, a principal speaker stood in front of a large vehicle displaying a banner, “Friends don’t let friends raise taxes.” Asked for a single comment on taxes, he reiterated the conservative mandate, “No government has ever spent its way into prosperity.” Lynne Weaver, Chair of Prop 13 Arizona, gathering signatures for the ballot, said, “Government can’t control its spending, so we must control how much they take from us, and Prop 13 will do that.” She welcomed inquiry at

Many individuals referred to Glenn Beck on TV’s Fox News, with thanks as an awakening news source to the strange direction of the Obama administration in a sea of silent media. Beck reported throughout the day on the estimated 1.7 million Tea Party citizens in DC and the 9/12 Project he originated to energize individual thought on America’s true capitalist and freedom tradition.

The most moving expression of the grassroots mood of the Tea Party participants came from the voice of an older gentleman wearing a stars and stripes shirt and military ribbons. His family thought he hit the nail on the head. “For the first time since the country’s founding, it seems like the people are really afraid – not of any threat from a foreign government – but from its own government.”