Meet my new hero, a wonderful woman from Alabama named Becky Gerritson. She is president of the Tea Party group in Wetumpka, Alabama, and her group was one of the many singled out by IRS employees for harassment when they applied for their tax-exempt status. Gerritson was asked to testify at Tuesday's meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is investigating the IRS' myriad abuses.
You can watch much of her testimony by clicking on the link below, but a couple of the passages (which begin about the 2:30 mark) in her testimony were absolute music to my ears, including (my emphasis added):
“In Wetumpka, we are patriotic Americans. We peacefully assemble. We petition our government. We exercise the right to free speech. And we don’t understand why the government tried to stop us.
“I’m not here as a serf or a vassal. I’m not begging my lords for
mercy. I’m a born free American woman. Wife, mother, and citizen. And
I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not
your responsibility to look out for my well-being and to monitor my
speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post
that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to
perform that duty, and you have faltered…
“What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama is
un-American. It isn’t a matter of firing or arresting individuals. The
individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they
should, in a government culture that has little respect for its
citizens. Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do
not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters. And they are mistaken."
In just a few courageous words, Ms. Gerritson summed up what should be a national rallying cry: The idea that we are NOT servants of the federal government, that we are NOT serfs or vassals and that government does not give us our rights, it exists to protect those rights.
It's not a particularly radical idea; The same notions are found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, but the sad part of her testimony is that for many (most?) Americans, she may as well have been speaking Latin. Congress is full of ridiculous people like Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Keith Ellison for whom the idea of individual liberty is a threat. Like most liberals, they consider themselves enlightened elites, and they view government as a tool to shape their utopian view of the world without any regard for the rights of the citizenry.
(Consider the contrast between Ms. Gerritson, and the sad, pathetic Sandra Fluke, who became a liberal icon by testifying in Congress to her belief that government exists in order to provide her with free birth control. It's hard to believe the two of them are even the same species, let alone the same gender.)
Ms,. Gerritson closed her testimony by saying:
“I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and
preserve the America that I grew up in. The America that people crossed
oceans and risked their lives to become a part of. And I’m terrified it
is slipping away."
I think it's a valid question to ask if it is "slipping away," or if we've already slid too far to recover.
God bless Becky Gerritson.