I’m not a proud American, I didn’t do anything necessarily to be proud of. I just happened to be born within her borders, but I like it here, some places more than others however. I am a humble American. I am humbled by the opportunities afforded me by birthright.
And I love Maryland. I just moved here in January and while not perfect, the state makes sense to me. For example, I didn’t like having my cars inspected but it makes sense to make sure all the cars on the road are serviceable.
While living in Kentucky, twice I got stuck in traffic because someone’s car died in traffic. I don’t see that happening in Maryland. Their government ensures you won’t be bothered with that. Thank you, Maryland. That, plus a safer car makes the extra money worth my dime as I have children. Precious cargo and all that.
But let me get back to this whole Kentucky thing. I lived there for two years. There’s a reason they call Kentucky “the dark and bloody ground”. It’s just depressing as hell there.
But while living in Kentucky, I had the chance to see something most people don’t get to experience. I went to my first Tea Party rally and I talked to a few people. It was quite an experience.
The Tea Party rally was held at the local Armory. I’m assuming they chose the Armory because it’s the only place in town they could have a rally for free. The irony of this was not lost on me as I trecked up to meet the teabaggers.
As I walked around, I was looked at strangely. I wasn’t carrying a sign and because I had just came from work, I was wearing a shirt and a tie, making me one of the most formally dressed people at the event.
I finally saw an older couple, the gentleman holding a sign saying “No government aid without drug testing”.
I saw the sign and started thinking. I was in the Navy and the Navy spends a metric butt-ton on drug testing sailors. This guy wants to test everyone going for welfare? That’s absurd. Then my mind really got racing. Hey pal, your Social Security and Medicaid are both government aid. You going to pee in a cup too?
I knew I must speak with this man.
“Sir, may I talk with you a bit?” I asked.
“Why?” he snarled in return.
I explained that I thought his sign was interesting and that I would like to talk to him about it.
So we chatted and he explained that the people receiving welfare are all using it to buy drugs and that the government could save a lot of money by cutting those people off (I didn’t ask what he proposed to do with the people, I didn’t think his plan was that inclusive).
From there, I explained my side of the position. Drug testing is obtrusive and having done it, it was something I was never comfortable with in my time in the Navy. I also explained about the cost and that with good intentions in mind, he would be making the problem of government spending and big government even worse.
At that point I was told to leave. Not wanting to disrespect my elders, I did so. I milled around the crowd some more until I came upon at teabagger with a Taxed Enough Already sign. This was my next conversation:
Me: You have been taxed enough, right?
TBer: Hell Yeah! We’re fed up!
Me: So that’s why you’re having this rally here at the armory, right? Because you’ve been taxed enough?
TBer: That’s what I said.
Me: You know, taxes pay for a lot of cool stuff though. Without taxes, you know you would have had to pay to use the armory, right? Without taxes, you would have to pay to use the roads, you know that, right? Without taxes, you would have to have paid to go to school? Without taxes, you couldn’t use this very armory as a free place to hold an event to protest taxes! You know this, right?
TBer: %C#@ you commie.
Me: I’m not a communist. I’m a Veteran. I fought in the war.
TBer: I don’t believe you.
Me: (remembering I was in Kentucky) Well…bless your heart.
So that was my experience with the American Tea Party. They want a smaller government that drug tests everyone and they don’t want to pay taxes on stuff. They just want it to be there.
The Tea Party is the emotional equivalent to the terrible twos. Did I mention I really like it in Maryland?