Nashville, Tennessee — For months, this is what we’ve been seeing at tea party protests.
But at the first day of the National Tea Party Convention, the scene was far more subdued, but the message was clear: Federal government, get out of our way.
According to tea party member William Temple, from Brunswick, Ala., it’s time for the federal government to step down and leave the law in the hands of the constitution.
“Right now the federal government has become a soft tyranny. And it is our concern and will be our effort to put them back into their place,” said Temple.
That’s why more than 600 tea party enthusiasts are expected this weekend in Nashville, Tenn, who will undoubtedly bear American flags, while voicing their opposition to what they call a government with too much control.
“We almost have two parties with one head right now and we’re sick and tired of that. We want the constitution to be the supreme law of the land,” said Dick Andis, another tea party member, from Greencastle, Ind.
A recent poll commissioned by Daily Kos/Research 2000, found that 36 percent of Republicans believe President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. while 31 percent in the poll say Obama hates white people.
But these tea partiers are hesitant to be put in any category.
“Conservative can mean many things to many people,” added Andis. “Democrat, Republican, can mean many things to many people. We don’t care what those people are, as long as they believe in the constitution.”
Jack Wilson, another fellow tea party member, from Cecil, Md, added that tea party members are a diverse group.
“We got Libertarians here, Republicans, Independents,” said Wilson. “The tea party isn’t just one group of people.”
Temple, a passionate tea party member, has one thing to say to the president.
“What did Kos call Bush? They called him Hitler,” said Temple. “Did anybody on the left object and cry out? Well you know what I want to tell President Obama? Part of being president is you’re going to get people who are going to say things that you might not like. And so you got to man up.”
Charlotte Bergmann is running for a congressional seat in Memphis’ 9th District. She says she was probably the only African-American to register on the convention’s first day.
“We African-Americans are some church-going, Christians, conservatives,” says Bergmann. “We’re out there, I guarantee you. The media just doesn’t focus on us.”
For Bergmann, it doesn’t matter who makes up the movement. What matters is an administration, she says, who has failed to deliver change.
“It is the social spending, the tremendous spending,” says Bergmann. “The fiscal irresponsibility that has been demonstrated by our congress and our senators.”