Nothing brings people together like vexation against the government. At the Dallas Tax Day Tea Party, diverse groups of people came together under the common cause of protesting high taxes Wednesday evening in front of City Hall.
According to rally organizer Phillip Dennis, the day was also about sending a message to Washington that regular people are tired of wasteful spending and runaway government power.
The event featured local voices rather than big-name politicians on the podium. Speeches mainly focused on fear of encroaching socialism, promoting states’ rights, and the futility of the bailout.
"As long as you take from Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul’s vote," Mike Dennis told the crowd, before explaining the significance to the movement of John Galt and from the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, a prominent reference on attendee signs.
At any point during the speeches the name Nancy Pelosi drew boo’s so invariably that one speaker, Mark Davis, joked that it was like a catch phrase in a Monty Python skit.
Men and women in suits, families, cowboys, people in boots and bandanas and young hipsters comprised the crowd that seemed to come from all walks of life. Outre costumes and eye-catching signs dotted the landscape as well, saying such as "Hitler gave good speeches too” and “Stop economic child abuse."
"Live free or die," said one lieutenant with the Henderson County Militia, who donned a Republic of Texas patch on his leather jacket, explaining why he had come out. Claiming to be a friend of Chuck Norris, he was one of those with a secessionist bent at the rally. "I like Chuck, he’s a good man. Whether he would make a good president of Texas though I would have to ask him."
The leaders of the event recognized the diversity of the crowd but were inclusive because they felt that it only showed how many different types of people the issues affected.
"The best way to make a friend out here is if you walk up to someone and say, 'You know what, I am a Democrat, and I disagree with most of the people here. But you know what, we got to get this under control,'" said Mark Davis in one of his speeches. "I think that person would be the most popular person in this crowd. And God bless him."
Holly LaFon is a journalist who was written and worked for various local publication including D Magazine and Examiner.