February 13, 2008
Lady Godiva, Werewolves of the State, and the Soup Kitchen
Protest is in the air and dates for a massive march on Washington DC are now under discussion. One such date is April 15th. There are many good reasons to pick Tax Day for an event or events across the country. The continued existence of the IRS is reason enough but, for me at least, Tax Day brings not just the horror of filing and paying but the delights of what was once the equivalent of a Libertarian High Holiday. Those were days of innocence. The wonderful old days of the early Libertarian Party were certainly varied. We changed the program some every year so that the media would not become jaded, some years featuring vampires sucking out the life's blood of a sad citizen and another year using a real horse and a mostly naked woman with a long blond wig, emulating the ride of Lady Godiva. I think that role was played by Carolyn Treynor in Los Angeles. We always had tax protests even when Ed Crane, the Darth Vader of Cato Institute, expressed the thought that they lacked sophistication. His lackeys and lick spittles nodded ferociously when he scrunched up his face and announced that. The word had been said, right, no tax protests. Now of course we understand for whom he is working so that all makes sense. April 15th became an annual celebration of freedom so it is wonderful to see another generation of activists take up the mantle and the signs and go to work. Massive marches were a little beyond our numbers back then but if the Revolution continues to fulfill its amazing potential for spontaneous, from the grass roots, order then I am sure that tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Revolutionaries will converge on the White House if the Invisible Hand of Spontaneous Order so moves the Revolution. But even if some more boring date is chosen for the March to End all Marches which will probably be ignored by the MSM, doing local Tax Protests is both fun and worthwhile, especially now. In those Old Days we orchestrated the whole event locally. It usually began with a march to a local Federal Building, but some used City Hall or their state Capitol. We got permits; we found parking. We sent news releases; called the media; did follow-ups. We let them know what to expect and made sure they had places to put the cameras or park their trucks. Speeches were supposed to be short, tight, and punchy but naturally sometimes they wandered on. These were, after all, Libertarians. We also sang protest songs of our own devising. “Who's the leader of the cult who'se screwing you and me? IRS – TAX – SOB UC” Enough of that. The literature always took up the theme. If I had the Lady Godiva flyer I would include it. On one occasion we also pasted condoms to the literature so that is you were going to be screwed at least you would be safe from infection. The next year we did a soup kitchen, handing out bowls of delicious soup to saddened filers. There were ideas that were so outrageous even Libertarians knew they should not be carried out. The more people who are involved in the planning and action the better. March. Sing. Shout. Wave signs. Leaflet. Don't forget your sign-up sheets and include the local website and contact information. Centralization is for lower life forms like bureaucrats. Things are different today. When planning your event remember to educate while entertaining yourselves. Now, we can use tax protests to widen the steadily growing gap between those working for Federal government and state – local governments while educating ourselves and all Americans on the causes for the steady deterioration of our economy. For those stay at home folks, the ones who just can't get there if there is a massive protest in DC, it is also possible to stage simultaneous events across the country that evoke the flavor of those long gone Libertarian Days, bringing them up to date with a few additions. Marching on your state capitol or town hall presents many possibilities for that process to begin. Have a digital money counter that flashes over by the millions. People watch the action. Tie that to what the Federal government is spending on Iraq. Pass out tiny replicas of dollar bills to show the impact of inflation (now those might need a microscope). Innovate. Government costs a lot and no place does it do less for us than that enacted from Washington DC. Unfunded mandates, regulatory intrusion, and other horrifying ugliness from the Feds are causing rising resentment by those in state government. Nothing about government, as presently constituted works. If we had a choice, a real choice, it would already be history. Employees of various local and state governments are growing more aware that their own pay and retirement is at risk. Coalition is built on a common agenda that benefits all parties and freedom is good for all of us. Ron Paul has said he will end the IRS and that is a solution enacted from the Federal level. But there are other ways to skin the cat. How many ways can you leave the Fed, that corporation that substituted a small, tightly controlled business for the union of the states? Along with the exit of the Lakota Republic, staged by Libertarian Russell Means, other entities are now talking about asserting their illegally foreclosed right to leave the United States of America. Among these are Vermont and Texas with murmurings from elsewhere across the nation. That also presents interesting potential themes for education. My kids would have enjoyed dressing up like Indians. Tax Day; it costs more than Christmas and you don't even get a lump of coal. I eagerly await the ideas that will pour forth from the Revolution. It will be fun.