One year ago on April 15th, I stood in the rain, wind, sleet and then snow and spoke to 3,000 plus devoted patriots about what America was facing under a Barack Obama administration. I don't think I was fully aware that the 111th Congress was going to turn against the American people as they did, but I am fully aware of it now.
Last year I said (skip ahead if you've already watched this speech):
I asked the tea partiers to blog, send emails, letters to editors and make phone calls about America, the real America, the Constitution, politicians, legislation ... everything that would educate America and/or call the politicians to task. I also asked them to find a candidate they could wholly support and then throw their all behind that candidate.
So this year, when April 15th dawned I looked cautiously at the weather report and was ecstatic to find sunny skies and a promised 64 degrees. I REALLY wanted the weatherman to be right, and he was. What a glorious day it turned out to be.
My vice-chair showed up at 8:30 a.m. and we headed toward Salt Lake City and the Federal Plaza, the site of last year's tea party. We met old friends, new friends, Americans one and all. I spoke to the reporters who'd covered the tea party last year and was encouraged by their willingness to be fair. I connected with the Mike Lee campaign, Mike and Sharon Lee, Carl and Sherry Wimmer and lots of Facebook friends as well as neighborhood friends. I think we had upwards of 200 tea partiers there and listened to some really great speeches and saw some really great signs. Utah's Attorney General Mark Shurtleff closed that tea party and invited everyone to reconvene at the Utah Capitol as we moved from the federal building to the Capitol building in a symbolic tip to the power moving from the federal government back to the state where it belongs.
We reached the Capitol building about 15 minutes later and the crowd grew to about 2,000 people at its peak. We listened to many speakers and then Governor Gary Herbert and his sweet wife came out and spoke to the crowd for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then it was my turn.
I had some thoughts, a list of six things my father taught his children to watch out for, but that was about it. I was handed the microphone and began to speak.
As the speech went on there was a perfect moment of clarity which struck me. It was if time had suddenly frozen:
Above me was a bright blue sky with a beautiful spring sun shining down. Behind me the dignity of the Utah State Capitol rose above me and below me the Salt Lake valley was nestled between the majesty of snow-capped mountains. Two thousand patriotic Americans were cheering and celebrating a year of American firsts as we began taking America back. In the front of that crowd stood Mike and Sharon Lee, clapping with huge smiles on their faces. To my left stood Carl Wimmer and his daughter, Jade, were doing the same. Behind and to the right of them was a World War II Navy veteran who had wept as the national anthem was sung by Drew Reese. American flags waved from every corner, both behind and in front of me. The words of outrage and patriotism were printed on signs of all sizes and shapes held high by Americans from all walk of life.
All this was captured in a single moment in my mind's eye as I spoke. And I thought to myself, "This is what I fight for. This is the America I love and the America I will preserve."
Over the past year conservative Americans, otherwise known as tea partiers, have effected changes in elections in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and almost in New York. In Utah, we swept the Republican caucuses. 80% of the 2010 delegates elected are brand new. I was one of the 20% who remained. I am the precinct chair in my neighborhood.
I made a promise last year that I would not rest until constitutional government was restored in America. The year had almost passed with no candidate I could endorse until I happened to have the opportunity to hear Mike Lee speak one evening at a nearby charter school. That night he spoke of the U.S. Constitution. He took us back to where it went wrong and socialism began creeping into our nation, when America fundamentally changed. He talked of real world solutions to the problems America now faces. After 2 hours, I spoke with Mike briefly and walked out of the auditorium with hope once again in my heart, and it has not dispelled.
On tax day, as I concluded my speech, I was privileged to introduce Mike Lee as the candidate I had chosen to represent me, Utah and America in Washington, D.C. as our next U.S. Senator. It was the last thing I needed to do to bring April 15, 2009 to April 15, 2010 full circle. We will send an army of junior Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen to Washington, D.C. and the Constitution will be restored. The challenge from the socialists went out and we answered with all the passion and fierceness the American people hold.
Barack Obama and those of his ilk may dismiss us, but it will be to their political detriment. The 111th Congress has ignored the American people although tens of millions raised their voices against monstrous legislation, out of control spending, extortion, bribery and payoffs. And the more Congress and Obama ignored us, the more determined tea partiers became. In November, we answer that challenge and will permanently retire those who tried to dismantle the U.S. Constitution and our beloved Republic. And in 2013 the rest of them will be forcibly retired from political life and the work to repeal everything Obama has signed into law will begin. Constitutional government will be restored to the sacred halls of Congress, the hallowed chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court and the White House, that symbol of hope to all seeking freedom. The checks and balances established by the Founding Fathers will be restored and America can begin its recovery.
America will once against be that shining city on a hill ... because of the tea party movement, be of patriotic, loyal Americans. Do not falter. Do not grow faint. Do not grow weary. We have accomplished much and we will finish the job. May God bless America that she may be fully restored.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.
My 2010 Tax Day Tea Party Experience Reviewed by Candace Salima on Sunday, April 18, 2010 Rating: