Brian Leland’s editorial (see “Parade politics,” July 3) is an exercise in revisionist history filled with his skewed opinions. I was a lead organizer of the July 4, 2009, Bozeman Tea Party March on Main Street. Our rally drew over 2,000 people, compared to Brian’s stroll which drew barely 20.
Brian’s labeling us “a bunch of angry people carrying derogatory and racist signs” is not only silly, it’s a classic case of projection. The name of his group, the Coalition of Gay Green Loggers for Jesus, is an offense to gay people, environmentalists, loggers and people of faith. Few in Bozeman thought it was funny, including the liberal City Commissioner Jeff Rupp, who chastised Brian about it twice during a public meeting. As a son of Holocaust survivors, I (and my friends) would not permit signs denigrating others.
Brian, like many who cannot argue the facts, resorts to name-calling, belittlement, half-truths and outright lies. The fact that the nation is unsustainably in debt can’t be argued. We have over $17.5 trillion in national debt and an additional $121 trillion in unfunded liabilities. It’s the equivalent of $1.21 million of debt for every taxpayer. We are fighting to preserve our free enterprise system and our economic freedom because it promotes a healthier, more prosperous and a better quality life. We have taken on issues like protecting water rights of ranchers and farmers, promoting responsible energy development, reducing tax burdens and defending our right to privacy from an ever-intrusive federal government.
While Brian is left to selling T-shirts during art walks from his short claim to fame and writing opinion pieces based on misinformation, members of the Tea Party/Liberty movement have run successfully for office, established a statewide network of Tea Party groups and/or worked for other organizations. While Bozeman’s July 4, 2009, March on Main Street was a once in a lifetime event, we have continued to rally here and have also joined other Tea Party Independence Day celebrations in neighboring Park and Madison counties.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank Brian for his protest of our rally. Along with the city of Bozeman’s initial denial of our permit to close down Main Street and the local newspaper’s antagonist reporting, Brian’s attempt at mockery helped us draw many more people to our event. Ultimately, July 4, 2009, fueled our statewide movement which continues its work today in relentless pursuit of liberty.