Dan Proft: My Remarks from the 2011 Chicago Tea Party Tax Day Rally at Daley Plaza

Snow in Chicago in April. Some might view this as simply the unpredictability of Chicago weather. Others might attribute it to climate change. I, however, believe this to be a prophecy foretold: Rahm Emanuel has been elected Mayor of Chicago and Hell is freezing over.

Welcome tea partiers. To paraphrase our President, you are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration and the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, two Illinois sons who forever changed the world and our understanding of it with their simple but unyielding commitment to the idea that liberty is the birthright of every human being.
The leadership emanating from Illinois more recently hasn’t been quite to that standard. This is also the year we take note of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s 40th year of driving business and jobs out of Illinois. And this year is the 14th anniversary of Barack Obama’s first “present” vote in the Illinois State Senate.

But I have hope for change.

The tea party movement is the reason Nancy Pelosi is no longer the House Speaker. You are the reason the public sector unions no longer enjoy unlimited access to your wallets. And you are the reason why Barack Obama will be a one-term President.

By the way, given the media’s obsession with defining the tea party and the Left’s obsession with mis-defining it, let me offer the following suggested description: the tea party is made up of Americans who play the rules and are understandably tired of being continually gamed by a government they finance. You understand that Illinois isn’t broken. It’s fixed. The same goes for the federal government.

Tea party activists aim simply to bring back in to balance the power relationship between the citizen and his government.

Tea party activists understands we cannot spend $31,000 per US household and only take in $18,000 per US household in revenue as the federal government did last year.

Tea party activists recognize that we will leave a legacy for future generations and that legacy will be a diminished quality of life with fewer economic opportunities if we do not change our current path.

And, by the way, what you see here today are “working families”. The phrase has been corrupted by the Left to mean only public sector union families. In Illinois (for the time being), there are 1.1 million businesses with less than five employees. Those small businesses are the engines of job growth and wealth creation. They are started and operated by working families. They employ members of working families. And it’s time we stopped looking at those working families as “those with the ability to pay” and thanked them for what they create.

But, most importantly, the tea party recognizes that politics is a fight. Not in the violent sense, of course. But in the very real sense that politics is the arena in which we battle over how our society should be ordered and the values that should be reflected in our laws.

The spontaneous order sparked by a Santelli freedom cry has congealed into a movement that puts policy over party affiliation or personality.

It is a movement that holds the politicians they elect to the same standards as those they reject.

It is a movement that will not be intimidated into silence or frustrated into inaction.
Your willingness to fight for your country is a source of great annoyance for liberal elites and the effete political class.
They rely on you to not pay attention.

The Obama administration thinks it can argue that the Bush tax cuts caused the Great Recession in one moment and extend them in the next and their hypocrisy will be lost on you.

The Obama administration thinks it can argue massive federal spending was required to save our economy in his first two years and now spending cuts are the both the order of the day and his idea–and their hypocrisy will be lost on you.

The Obama administration thinks it can tout historic spending cuts in one breath while demanding the debt ceiling be raised for the fourth time in the next breath and that their hypocrisy will be lost on you.
In fact, it is your presence here today that is lost on them. President Obama and the rest of the Chicago Democrats who lord over our state and our nation can’t figure out why you don’t understand that they know better for you than you do.
Sometimes it’s difficult to teach the Ivy League crowd new tricks so I say we stop trying.
We don’t need a government that lives within its means, as the politicians say. Government has no means. What we need a government that lives within the means of the people who finance it.
We need government systems that respect the diligence of their financiers (that would be you, the taxpayers) as much as they promote compassion for their beneficiaries.
In order to get the kind of government I describe we’re going to need to make some personnel changes.
So in the spirit of this peaceful gathering of God-fearing, freedom-loving Americans, I want to close with a passage from the Good Book–no, not Atlas Shrugged. Please join me in offering the following prayer for President Obama and our Chicago Democrat overlords in Illinois from Psalms 109:8, “Let his days be few and let another take his office.”

Dan Proft (dan@danproft.com) writes a weekly commentary for WLS-AM 890′s “Don Wade and Roma Morning Show” and co-hosts a show on WLS Saturdays 12noon-3pm and Sundays 1pm-3pm. Proft is a Senior Fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute. Proft is the Principal of Starfish, a Chicago-based public affairs firm.

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