Sent in by A. Wilson
Original Intent.org July 17, 2001
Last Thursday, (July 12th) the Citizens of Tennessee beat back yet another attempt by the governor and certain legislators to enact a State Income Tax. During the day Thursday, enough backroom deals had been made that it appeared there were enough votes line up to pass the income tax measure.
One of the bill's opponent's, state senator Marsha Blackburn, called radio talk-show host Phil Valentine, and together they informed the public of what was being done behind their backs. Valentine recommended that concerned Citizens get to Nashville and make themselves heard. And that they did. Valentine, who was headed to the capital building, had to walk the last two miles because the streets were jammed with people driving in to protest the attempt to pass an income tax bill.
The crowd was justifiably irritated. The Tennessee legislature has already tried to sneak an income tax measure through on several other occasions and each time and Citizens of Tennessee have had to come to the capital and raise hell to stop it. The governor and the legislature know that the Citizens of Tennessee do not want an income tax, but they keep trying to ram one down their throats. I don't even live in Tennessee and that pisses me off!
Now comes the truly ugly part. Access to the politicians that the protestors had come to see was blocked! The protester had come to tell their elected representatives how they felt about the issue under consideration and the elected officials locked their constituents out of the area where the official's offices are located! The crowd was not happy, nor should they have been. The Citizens paid for that building and voted the representatives into office. It is their building and their elected officials. How dare these politicians lock themselves away from their constituents and how dare they lock Tennessians out of the their own capitol building! The crowd wanted to be heard - and they should be. They started banging on locked doors and the people outside in the street started honking their horns. Cops were citing drivers for honking their horns and giving out citation to members of the "unruly" crowd for disorder conduct. Cops were keeping anti-tax Citizens out of the legislature's public gallery, but escorting people in who were wearing pro-tax buttons.
Then it happened. I can't believe it. A terrible earth-shattering event. A window in the governor's reception area was broken. Oh my gosh! The shame of it all. The governor later portrayed the broken window as a "destructive act" and the actions of the protesters in general as "disruptive behavior". Well I sure as hell hope so...and then some!
I don't think the governor gets it. I think he should count himself lucky that it was only a broken window and not a whole lot worse! If I had my druthers, the governor and his lackeys in the legislature would be hauled outside and tarred and feathered for their insolence and audacity. And that's exactly what would have happened if those Tennessians were there in the spirit of their great great grandfathers.
Let's face it, today's politicians don't really listen to their constituents, nor do they care about honoring their oaths of office, or about adhering to their state's Constitution or the US Constitution. So what do they listen to? In Tennessee it appears they listened to their own feelings - the feeling of fear that sets in when angry Tennessians started filling the halls and screaming and yelling and banging on locked doors demanding access to their representatives. Do you know what happened when those politicians felt fear? They pulled their support from the income tax measure and it failed to pass.
The governor said "I appreciate the right of all Americans to free speech and peaceful protest. I do not, however, approve of those who advocate violence..." Who advocated violence? Not even the governor could say. And quite frankly who said that protests have to be peaceful? This country's history is rife with incidents of arrogant public officials being tarred and feathered, beaten, their homes burned to the ground, and more. Since the Citizens of Tennessee have already made it crystal clear to the governor and the legislature that they do not want an income tax, why should they be "peaceful" when these same officials then attempt to steal from the Citizens of Tennessee under the guise of law?
I applaud the Citizens of Tennessee and I think they showed great restraint in only breaking one small window. However, if the governor and his lackeys try this stunt again, I don't think restraint should be the order of the day. I think every Citizen of Tennessee should show up at the capital building with a gallon of some black tar-like substance and a down pillow - and use them as God and your forefathers intended.
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