Imagine if early American colonists had access to cell phones, video uplinks and large multipurpose arenas.
It would've made the American Revolution a lot easier.
Well, a second American revolution of sorts may be taking place, this time with all the modern accoutrements.
The "Fair Tax," a grass-roots movement to institute a federal sales tax and dump the oppressive and intrusive income tax, and a handful of other despised federal taxes, is growing louder and more ubiquitous by the day.
Last Tuesday, some 7,000 Fair Tax supporters rallied at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, S.C., across the street from the Republican presidential debate. After cheering speakers such as Sean Hannity, John Stossel, four presidential candidates and Atlanta-based radio personality Neal Boortz - the spiritual leader of the movement - the energized crowd marched slowly around the Koger Center prior to the GOP debate.
It must have seemed an oddity to many: Thousands of white-shirted, placard-waving, polite but motivated folks chanting "Dare to be fair! Fair Tax now!"
Well, it is an oddity, in a way: Here's a growing cadre of citizens who are spending increasing amounts of time and money - they came to Columbia from all over the country last week - to push for something that isn't a special interest that benefits them.
Think about it. Usually, demonstrators are seeking something for themselves: special rights, more benefits and so on. The Fair Tax supporters will benefit from it, certainly - but so would the entire country. And that's the point.
Yep, that stands out.
The rally and march also stood out because the mainstream media hasn't really sensed how serious this movement is, so it's not on the radar screens of a lot of people. Indeed, the rally wasn't exactly deluged with media; most reporters and cameras were across the street at the debate.
Yet, Fairtax.org communications director Ken Hoagland says the organization has been on more than 500 radio shows in the past 11 months alone. And with 60 congressional sponsors already and a campaign strategy of taking to the streets in the early presidential primary states, Hoagland says supporters plan to not only get the proposal on everyone's radar screen, but also to make it impossible for elected officials to ignore.
Having a rally across the street, and then a march to the presidential debate Tuesday was inspired. As "campaignsandelec-tions.com" noted, "The marchers temporarily silenced presidential campaigners and protest groups that lined the streets around the Koger Center. People inside the Koger Center leaned against the two-story high glass windows to get a look at what was going on."
What they saw may be the start of a new American revolution.
Well, it's certainly revolutionary to think of abolishing the IRS - and turning April 15 back to the songbirds of spring.
Boortz also says the Fair Tax is revolutionary in that it's the first serious tax reform proposal developed and packaged by the private sector for our political leaders. And since it would give you more power over your tax bill, and give the government much less snooping power into your finances, Boortz says the Fair Tax would be the largest single transfer of power from the federal government to the people in American history.
Just prior to addressing the rally Tuesday, Boortz seemed more wedded to the cause than to his 37-year talk radio career that now has him on 180 stations across the country. Moments later, he told the arena that he's been advised his advocacy for the Fair Tax could be professional suicide for his radio show - but that "I'm going to stay at it till this Fair Tax idea succeeds or the (radio show's) ratings disappear. I am not going anywhere. I am going to see this thing through."
It must have seemed an insurmountable task at first; when did he know it was possible, we asked Boortz. Answer: When The FairTax Book he and U.S. Rep. John Linder of Georgia wrote hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
A sequel is in the works to list and refute all the criticisms and questions opponents have raised.