Dickinson Tea Party encourages thinking about frustrating taxes
On Wednesday, people across the United States will draw inspiration from an event that took place more than 235 years ago.
Inspired by the Boston Tea Party, more than 600 Tax Day Tea Party protests are scheduled for cities throughout the country, including Dickinson.
Dickinson Tea Party organizers Don Gordon and Bernard Kordonowy, of Belfield, said they don't think the nationwide protest is a case of a few people who are unhappy with their government getting together to cause trouble, they believe they're members of the silent majority.
"Everyone that I talk with -- with very few exceptions -- are very upset with the direction that the government is going," Kordonowy said. "So somewhere, we're missing out on being heard."
Dickinson's Tea Party is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday with an outdoor rally at the North Dakota National Guard Armory. At 6:15 the event will move inside for a social and possible speakers.
The event nearly didn't happen due to flooding in the Red River Valley forcing the original event organizers to back out. But when Kordonowy and Gordon heard it was in danger of being canceled, they stepped in and took over.
Gordon said the purpose of the event is to give people a venue where they can talk about their disappointment regarding recent decisions in Washington D.C., including the Stimulus Plan, the new federal budget and government bailouts of financial institutions and car manufacturers.
"A lot of it is just to vent frustrations and to talk to like-minded people and kick around ideas," Gordon said. "I do not consider this a partisan, democrat, republican thing. Both sides and independents, all of us, it's going to affect everybody."
The government is spending too much money and the younger generations are going to pay for it, Kordonowy said adding that the government has become too big for its own good.
"I'm worried that my children and grandchildren are going to be ended up with a huge tax burden and they're not going to have the privileges, the freedoms, the opportunity to succeed in the ways that we had in our generation," Kordonowy said. "I want future generations to have those same freedoms and opportunities."
And Gordon was quick to point out that it isn't all about the Obama administration and that he was unhappy with several decisions made by the Bush administration.
"We've got to quit thinking that we can pay for everything for everybody. We can't do it," Gordon said. "I mean it would be nice, but it hasn't worked in other countries. You can't do it."
One of the sources of the problem in Kordonowy's mind is the lack of term limits for those in office.
"It's gotten to be that politicians are professional politicians and they keep working to be re-elected rather than work for the benefit of the people," Kordonowy said.
As a result, money is thrown at issues instead of coming up with real answers or letting them resolve themselves, like with the auto bailout, Gordon said.
"I'm a capitalist. I definitely believe in capitalism, I think that's what made this country as great as it is," Gordon said. "Once you start getting the government involved in private industry, I don't think it's right. I don't agree with it. If a business can't make it they go out of business and somebody that can make it will take over. That is my firm belief."
Gordon and Kordonowy know not everyone agrees with them, and that's OK. But they are trying to voice their opinions in a peaceful, law-abiding way.
Kordonowy hopes that with so many protests taking place on the same day, politicians will be forced to sit up and take notice.
"In my mind, I'm thinking that if there are enough people that do show, maybe some of the congressmen will think, gee people are serious, maybe this is getting out of hand. Maybe we better look at what we're doing," Kordonowy said.