The first Mountain Tea Party meeting at the Phoenicia Rod and Gun Club was a success. Approximately 80 attended. Individuals from as far away as Delaware and Greene Counties joined in the festivities. Al Higgley donated hot dogs, and coffee and cookies were served. I gave out an article that I had written on the Obama administration's spending. The Democratic Party's media claim that Obama is a moderate, but objective statistics show that he has radically increased spending.
Chris Johansen, chairman, opened the meeting with an overview. Chris requested participants to describe their concerns. Chief among these were excessive taxes, increasing government, New York State's ongoing decline, and a failed president. Attendees recognize that the socialist policies of the Obama administration and New York are the source of economic failure.
An African-American participant said that he attended because he was tired of being the only one he knows who is allowed to criticize President Obama. If anyone who is not African American criticizes Obama, this gentleman said, his supporters in the media accuse them of racism. He said that it is a tragedy that the first African American president had to be a communist. Glenda McGee added that Obama is not black--he's red.
The largest segment of the meeting consisted of Assembly candidate Don Wise's speech. Don made a number of excellent points and the audience seemed engaged. However, Don slipped toward a pro big government position, in the audience's opinions, when he said that taxes on cigarettes should be increased. Lively pro-freedom arguments kept the evening on track. Historically, one of the great pro-freedom presidents, Martin van Buren, was born not too far from Shandaken in Kinderhook, NY. The pro-freedom legacy is still alive here. Many in the audience are well versed in libertarian thinking. Few New Yorkers understand this line of thought and most lack the necessary open mindedness to educate themselves.
I had been expecting 30 attendees in our rural community. 80 surprised me, and much of the credit must go to Chris and Cindy Johansen. As well, Paul Smart's article in the Woodstock Times and Olive Press helped gain attention.
God bless the Tea Party and God bless the United States.