Who Dares Defend Our Rights? We the People!
A Message from Your Alleged Betters: Hand Over the Cash!
Traitor! You know who you are, you heartless, uncaring cur! You. The one struggling to keep a roof over your head that doesn't leak, to give your kids a decent education, to stave off your family's suffering through any honorable means available and tend to your loved ones when they inevitably do become sick or need help. You're the stingy one, the unpatriotic one, who isn't slicing out and mailing in his or her proper pound of flesh to feed Uncle Sam's bottomless maw of expenditure. Big government wants you—or, more specifically, all your money and most of your liberty. After all, you do have a job and you are making a living, so you must have crushed entire stratums of society underfoot to get where you are, right? Come on, admit it—you've probably even got a savings account! Hand it over. Hand over all of it, for the good of. . .well, just hand it over.
Are you sick of the nonsense? The feel-good illogic? The morass of corruption and favoritism? The upside-down, inside-out economics that only make sense to someone who never had to balance a real budget?
Sure you are. What thinking person wouldn't be?
But what can one person do? You possess no aircraft carriers to enforce your will, and you do not want any. Putting one in your backyard wouldn't leave room for the grill. You wield no power of general taxation with which to vex your enemies and reward your cronies. You don't even have any cronies—just a few good friends. Even if you did decide to raise your one lonely voice, how could you be heard over the on-going, ever-rising uproar of the professional whiners?
Take Back Your Government!
Sharon Cooper was a housewife in the early 1990s when "Hillary-care," the first attempt at stuffing a nationalized healthcare siphon into the pocket of the middle class, was attempted. Cooper decided enough was enough, got involved, and fought on the front lines against the forces of economic idiocy. The lessons she learned in that contest led her to write The Taxpayer's Tea Party: a Manual on How to Take Back Your Government.
Boy do we ever need it now! Well, brace yourself. She's back with a revised edition with a new introduction from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich—one who is no stranger to grassroots organizing (and who knows sound political technique when he sees it).
Also included is Cooper's original introduction by rabble-rouser-in-chief Rush Limbaugh—and his trenchant analysis of our times rings true as always. But this is not a tract designed to fire up the troops. Cooper assumes you are fired up enough, or you wouldn't be reading in the first place. This is a how-to manual on how to take back your government. Says so right there in the title.
Cooper gives advice on how to write an effective letter to your Congressman, the newspaper—even the President himself (the latter in order to get it out of your system and allow you to move on to more promising endeavors). Should you mail, fax or e-mail? Cooper lets you know when each is most effective. Are you a bit shy and not sure what "networking" means other than hooking up your computer to the internet? Cooper gives examples from her own experience on how to go about it and retain your dignity in the process.
Next, Cooper lays out the influence-peddling power structure of the current political scene in plain daylight. Who are the vulnerable politicos? What's a "Blue Dog Democrat" and how do you go up against the Grand Poobah of a gerrymandered safe district? Finally, Cooper puts you in touch with organizations of like-minded individuals who will fight the good fight by your side.
But no Taxpayer's Tea Party would be complete without a little comic relief—come on, everybody dressed in feathers for the first one! Well, the beautifully-crafted cartoons of Chuck Asay spaced throughout the book will prove to be just the ticket for laughter. Asay gets in some excellent digs at the opposition, but his on-the-money, slice-of-life scenes from the life of those of us who will have to write the checks to pay for the madness are priceless gems indeed! Talk about your taxed-to the-limit moments! Sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying.
All in all, The Taxpayer's Tea Party is a gritty, glorious account of how to get things done in a democracy. Did it work for Cooper? In the past decade-and-a-half, she's gone from politically-uninvolved housewife to four-term state legislature—and ignited a fire of rebellion under thousands of taxed-to-the-limit taxpayers that hasn't gone out yet.