Saying it’s time to give America back to true Americans, hundreds of area residents converged on Jomeokee Park Saturday for a Constitution Day Tea Party Rally.
The rally was held from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., and featured a variety of booths set up for political candidates, right-leaning organizations and even a tactical firearms display.
But the real draw were the speakers, including Jan Morgan of Texas, Navy SEAL Ben Smith, Colonel Bill Cowan, N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, Scott Cumbie, Bill Flynn and Ben Franklin.
The rally was an event that, as speaker Dr. Tim Johnson said, was held to spark interest in the country’s political process and engage voters.
“When we win the hearts of the people, we’ll win back this country,” Johnson said to cheers from the crowd, who were clustered in chairs in the shade of trees.
Johnson said many citizens in this country are far too unaware.
“We all know that you can’t love what you don’t know,” he said. “And too many Americans don’t know about the history of this country and its founding principles.”
Adhering to the Tea Party platform, Johnson touted limited government, hearkening back to the infancy of the country.
“Our Founding Fathers understood the struggle between individual liberties and governmental power,” he said. “The Constitution wasn’t written to govern people, it was written to protect the people from the government.”
And those in attendance weren’t just local residents.
William Temple, of Brunswick, Ga., was decked out in Revolutionary era costume for the event, braving the afternoon sun in a woollen coat and Revolutionary War-era rucksack.
Temple, who led the 2009 Tea Party March on Washington, said it is important that the average citizen becomes involved in the political process, noting that the grass-roots effort of the party is having an effect.
“If you notice who’s winning the elections, it’s the Tea Party candidate,” he said. “We’re slowly taking back the Senate and putting Tea Party candidates in those seats.”
But he acknowledged that the attendance at the events isn’t what it used to be, in spite of the large crowd at Saturday’s rally.
Instead, he said, the crowds are focused more on local and state issues.
“You won’t see the thousands of people coming out because so many of us are focused on state and local elections,” he said.
Saturday’s event was supported by Americans For Prosperity, and King resident and coordinator for the group Kyle Hall said that without taking back America for Americans, the country will decline.
“The American Dream is dying,” he said. “When the American Dream is at stake, our children and grandchildren will not have the chances we had.
“We have to realize how truly exceptional America is and we don’t need to hide that fact.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.