Friday, April 24, 2009

Tax day "tea party" was practice.

A blogger friend wants to write about the tax day tea party,
but is struggling to figure out what it really was; what were
they protesting? Obama, the stimulus package, taxes, what?

An editorial in the Las Cruces Sun-News link, proceeded on
the assumption that the tea party was a rally against excessive
taxes, and then went on to wonder, where were the tax
protesters when a meeting was held five days later, to decide
whether or not to raise taxes in Las Cruces even higher.

I would offer that the tea party was practice. We are practicing
an end run around a system which is unresponsive to traditional
methods of stakeholder input; largely limited to voting for or
against people or plans, every few years or so.

I have often argued that the systemic ills will not be remedied
through election. If the process of election had the power to
end corruption and incompetence in government, both would
have ended centuries ago, the first time people voted to retain
or replace the incumbents.

The simple truth is that the system cannot be repaired by
using the system. The system has fine tuned itself over time,
to be responsive only to the heavy hitters that are part of the
system. And if they have different agendas than the people,
it is their agendas which prevail; and they really cannot be
voted out at the next election.

We have no choice but to work around the system to fix the
system. And we practiced that on tax day. Tens of thousands,
perhaps hundreds of thousands of folks turned up on city
sidewalks to practice taking back control over power and
resources that are fundamentally their own.

They were unsuccessful, and will continue to be unsuccessful,
because they have no leaders. They have no one to tell them
what to do next. No one told them to show up at the meeting
where the agenda included a discussion of raising taxes.

Typically, the newspaper editors didn't step up to lead.
There was no editorial before the tax hearing, encouraging
attendance and participation in the meeting. The editors only
stepped up after it was too late to influence the outcome of the
meeting. They only stepped up to criticizing those who did not

"All newspaper editorial writers ever do is to
come down from the hills after the battle is over
and shoot the wounded." unk
If leaders don't step up soon, it will be too late.
It might well be too late, already.

Was the tea party a flash in the pan? Could be.
I wouldn't be surprised if it were the last tea party
that we will ever see.


Anonymous said...

You make many crucial, revealing points when you write pieces like this.
I have seen your blogging develop like an art form over the last 2 years.
It gets better and stronger all the time.
Thanks for your attention to these important issues, and your personal time spent!
--An APS instructor

ched macquigg said...

and thank you for your kind attention.