By Preston Knight -- firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- Sunday came a day early this past weekend for some residents.
Former Town Council member Carl Rinker, the recipient of one particularly loud and unifying "amen" from the audience that filed in and out during the three-hour event, spoke passionately about the government passing too much cost onto employers and other Americans, outsourcing too many jobs and spending too wastefully in trying to save other countries.
"We're in deep crap right now," Rinker said. "When government's got their hands into it, it's not going to go the way we want it to go. ... Self-preservation starts today. Right here, right now, in this town."
The theme of the party was "Constitutional Correctness, Not Political Correctness." Its organizer, Kim Bishop, was adamant that the nation needs to revert to living as its Founding Fathers had designed -- with a limited government.
"It's all about control," she said, referencing the topics of health care and cap and trade. "They want to control you."
A large sign near the stage read "Taxed Enough Already," and had several short phrases written around it. "Unite or Die" and "Freedom is not Free" were among the slogans. Some people carried signs, waved flags or wore shirts asking for, among other things, term limits.
The party's purpose was to give the opportunity to people who work and supply taxes to government to stand and let those in Washington know that limited government and personal control is what they want, Bishop said in a press release. Labor Day weekend was a fitting time to do it, she added.
On Saturday, the message will be taken all the way to Washington. Mt. Jackson resident Suzanne Curran said that from Staunton to Strasburg, six busloads of people have signed up to head to the nation's capital to participate in a march on Pennsylvania Avenue. A seventh bus may even be added.
"It's to complain about the exorbitant spending Congress leaves on you and, ultimately, your great grandchildren [to pay]," Curran said. "I'll be dead. I don't have to pay it."
The deadline has passed for anyone who is interested to sign up for a bus now.
D. Eric Wiseley, a town attorney, chastised President Obama and Congress for their desire to spend money on "cool things" the country does not need and criticized their thinking that taxing the rich, such as Warren Buffett, would do any good.
"The best tax shelter today is unemployment," he said.
Bishop, meanwhile, also bemoaned the fact that too much emphasis is put on children going to college, which serves to shine certain jobs, like picking crops in a field, in a negative light.
"We need to quit telling kids who don't go to college that they are stupid," she said. "Congress is [a bunch of] complete and utter morons, and they all have Ivy League degrees. What's that say about Harvard?"