Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party – A Year Later

By Joseph Kellard

I dropped by the tea party at the Massapequa train station today, Tax Day, April 15, the same event that I reported on last year. This time, however, I took off my reporter’s hat and went with the sole purpose of passing out some Ayn Rand Samplers – a small book of excerpts from her novels and non-fiction – several of which I’d left in the trunk of my car after handing them out at an Independence Day tea part in Huntington last July 4. The crowd appeared to be less than half of what is was last April, but people were generally eager to accept my free book. In many of the Samplers, I inserted photocopies of a column I’d written about Ayn Rand and American patriotism, which I’d printed in my newspaper, along with some other Objectivist literature.

Anyway, there wasn’t much to this event other than concerned Americans brandishing sings along Sunrise Highway, soliciting supportive motorists to honk their horns. A few men were walking around amplifying their dissatisfaction with the Obama administration and Congress. Unfortunately, one man talked about the “illegal” immigrants that Obama wants to give amnesty to, and here I join with some other Objectivists who think that not only should he grant amnesty but he and all Americans should also apologize to them. Our immigration policies are disgraceful.

During the approximately 40 minutes I was there, I stopped and talked briefly to a few people. Most of those who I’d handed the Samplers to seemed to have at least heard of Ayn Rand, while others clearly knew her and seemed eager to finally get their hands on something she had written. These are all good signs.

I crossed paths with my childhood friend, Laura, who is now one of my Facebook friends, who told me that I had inspired her to read Atlas Shrugged, which she called “amazing.” That’s always satisfying to hear, since that’s my main purpose for attending these tea parties, one of which I spoke at last year.

At one point, a group of young people in a car, waiting at a red light, started to antagonize some of the peaceful people lining the sidewalk with sings and American and “Don’t tread on me” flags, as one young man held a photo of Obama out the window and started to yell them. And right before I left, as I was talking to my friend Laura, a young man wearing a red t-shirt bearing a Soviet hammer and sickle on it walked through the crowd, obviously looking to provoke a response. I left for home.

All in all, I was happy to take a few minutes on Tax Day to help spread the Objectivist word. The tea partiers, and particularly Americans in generally, desperately need to read and hear those words.