Several hundred Tea Party activists gathered Thursday morning on the steps of the Capitol for a “Stop Socialism, Chose Freedom” rally hosted by the Tea Party Patriots and featuring members of the House and Senate and conservative activists, who called on fellow Americans to reject the resurgent socialism among the left.
Speakers pointed to positions of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, arguing that they have been skewing further left to meet the demands of progressives on everything from wealth distribution, gun control, health care, and abortion.
One rally-going donned a “Don’t Tread on Me” cape. (Credit: Matt Perdie / Breitbart News)
Alek Skarlatos, who was one of three Americans who stopped an attempted terrorist attack while in France, implored attendees to stand up for liberty.
“I think that socialism is leading us in the absolutely wrong direction for this country. I think that everyone in this country has a right to defend themselves. And I mean, I carry a gun on me everyday,” said Skarlatos, who served in the Army National Guard and is now running for Congress in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.
“This next election is going to be incredibly important, to take a stand against socialism simply because the Democrats have gotten increasingly more socialist. Even if you just look at the presidential candidates, you have Beto O’Rourke saying, ‘We’re going to come take your AR-15s, your AK-47s.’ That’s something that not even Democrats — just going back to last cycle — would never admit publicly. Now we know what their true agenda is,” he said.
“It’s all about personal liberty, and not using our taxpayer dollars to pay for other people’s lives,” he argued.
Oskar Arreaza Hernandez, who fled socialist Venezuela and has been in the United States for five years, urged everyone to look at Venezuela for an example of how socialism can ruin a country.
“How can the richest country in South America become the poorest in South America?” he asked. “There is only one word: Socialism.”
Morgan Zegars, founder of Young Americans Against Socialism, spoke about the spread of socialism among young Americans.
“My generation was raised on participation trophies. So we lack those values of hard work. We went through the education system where we weren’t really taught about the dangers of socialism and communism,” she said.
“It’s official. There are polls that will say that a majority of young Americans, my generation, would choose socialism over capitalism. It’s official. So we’ve got to do something about it,” she said.
“Politicians are training my generation to accept the idea of wealth distribution by saying, ‘You have a lot of debt, these evil rich people, the one percent, the millionaires and billionaires,’ as Bernie likes to say, they have all the money and we’re going to give it to you because you deserve it, you just have to give us power,” she added.
Some rally-goers brought signs in support of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Credit: Matt Perdie / Breitbart News)
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was among members of the House Freedom Caucus to address the crowd.
“Free enterprise says you have the right to decide what you’re going to do with your God given talents, and you have the right, with the money that you’re able to earn, to determine how you are going to best take care of your family,” he said.
He warned that socialists were trying to take away Americans’ power by allowing non-citizens voting rights.
“Socialism is an anathema to freedom and liberty. It is an anathema to free enterprise. And it guarantees one thing — that’s economic failure and poverty,” he said.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), another member of the House Freedom Caucus, spoke at the rally. “You see all the Democratic nominees for president running right now. They want to take from you, to redistribute wealth, we should never stand for that.”
Reps. Jody Hice (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) also addressed the crowd.
Several hundred rally-goers attended the event to show their support. (Credit: Matt Perdie / Breitbart News)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), noted that although the Tea Party movement does not get as much attention as it once did, it “remains strong.”
“The spirit of the Constitution lives on in our hearts. It’s made a difference in who we elect. And for many of us it makes a big difference — all the difference — in how we vote,” he said.
“Socialism, my friends, is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution. It doesn’t belong on U.S. soil, let’s keep it out,” he added.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivered an impassioned rebuke of Democrat candidates’ economic plans, which he said would raise taxes for Americans.
“You see them embracing positions as they gallop to the left, further and further and further left, every one of them is saying we’re going to raise your taxes. Every one of them is saying we are going to triple the price of gas at the gas pump,” he said.
“Every one of them is supporting open borders. And not only that, they’re saying we got to provide free taxpayer health care for every illegal alien in America,” he said. “You want to know what those Democrats are all about, they’re all about socialism.”
Cruz, whose father was born in Cuba, urged Americans to look at how socialism worked in other countries:
Look at Venezuela. Look at Cuba. Look at Nicaragua. Did you know that in 1950 Venezuela was the fourth wealthiest country on the face of the earth? … Today people are literally starving in the streets, they’re eating from trashcans. And what are the people’s nationalist Democrats who are running now say, ‘Let’s bring more of that here.’
Conservative host and author Mark Levin also spoke to the crowd. (Credit: Matt Perdie / Breitbart News)
“The greatest enemy poverty has ever seen in the history of humanity is the American free enterprise system,” he added.
Jennifer Zeng, who escaped socialist China and is a member of the Falun Gong, a group persecuted in China, shared a gripping story of being arrested four times in China, imprisoned in a labor camp, and tortured.
She said labor camp prisoners were forced to squat outside in the hot sun with their hands behind their head. If any fainted, they would be prodded with an electric rod so they would regain consciousness and continue squatting, she said. She said they were also forced into slave labor for products that would be exported, including to the U.S.
“I never wanted to live in any sort of socialism again. But here in the U.S. I’m starting to feel that it has followed me…the majority of young Americans are attracted by it,” she said, adding:
The [Chinese Communist Party] controls everything…it can make all the rules, it can take away people’s liberty, property, and dignity, and persecute them at will,” she said. “Socialists promise heaven on earth but always end up giving you a one-way ticket to hell.”
Mark Levin, a popular conservative personality and author, fired up the crowd towards the end of the rally.
“We are here today because we believe in one word. Liberty. Socialism is the opposite of liberty. Under socialism you surrender your heart, your soul, and your mind to Elizabeth Warren, to Bernie Sanders, and Corey Booker, and the rest of them,” he said. He continued:
When I hear them pushing their leftwing progressive agenda…telling us this country was founded in slavery, they’re very confused, they must be talking about Red China, they must be talking about the Red Soviet Union and Russia, they must be talking about modern day Iran and North Korea. Look around you, this is liberty. You’re free to move. Mobility! You’re free to speak! You’re free to start your own press enterprise! You are free people! In the vast majority of the world, people are not free, they’re starving, they don’t have a roof over their head. They have nothing and not one damn one of those countries is capitalist.
That’s what the framers of the Constitution gave us — life, liberty, happiness and prosperity, and I’ll be damned if we’re going to swap Elizabeth Warren for James Madison, and I’ll be damned if we’re going to swap Bernie Sanders for George Washington, and I’ll be damned if we’re going to swap any one of them for any of our founders and framers of the Constitution.
Levin also blasted the mainstream media, arguing that they are doing more harm to a free press than the government could ever do.
“We don’t have a free press. We have a modern mass media filled with progressives and ideologues and Democrats and social activists who have done more to destroy freedom of the press more than any government to do,” he said.
“We, average Americans, we live better than any human beings lived on the planet before,” he said. “This election is a choice between … capitalism and socialism. It’s a choice between liberty and tyranny.”
“This can be lost. And in most societies it is lost. … that is left to us,” he warned. “We are here to tell the press and the Congress that we are not going anywhere.”
He finished with a message to President Trump: “Stand strong, keep in the fight, we back you. Because you stand between us and them.”
Rally-goers also showed their support for President Trump. (Credit: Matt Perdie / Breitbart News)