While a dozen or so protesters attended the Tax Day Rally Against Socialism in front of Congressman Adam Kinzinger's office in Ottawa, honks of support were heard from passing traffic on the newly-reformed La Salle County Tea Party and its leader, Dennis Corbin.
Corbin took over the Tea Party and restarted it in March after it shut down in June 2018; Corbin’s Tea Party took part in a debate with the La Salle County Democrats and Republicans last month.
“We want to promote American exceptionalism and protest the socialist agenda,” Corbin said. “The Democrats aren’t hiding the fact that they’re socialists anymore; they want free college and free healthcare. It's failed everywhere it's been tried. Look at Venezuela. Socialism has an elitist agenda and as patriots, we can’t stand for it.”
When Nicolas Maduro was elected president of Venezuela in 2013, his government policies changed to a much more centralized system that based the nation’s economy on its oil supply, but corruption, hyperinflation and scarcity of formerly imported goods have devastated their local economy according to 2013 and 2014 reports from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.
“The government wants to tell us what they think and what we should think,” said Mary Nevins. “There’s already too many restrictions and the people that want socialism aren’t working for what they have.”
Nevins said the government has no right to take over medical care or any other aspect of American lives. There have been efforts in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they have fallen short. Some Democratic presidential candidates have proposed a single-payer system.
“The people that want socialism aren’t willing to work,” Nevins said. “Now they’re going on and attacking Social Security. I worked for that; I didn’t want that money taken out but it was anyway, and now they’re going after me and the money I’ve earned.”
The protest is part of a nationwide Tea Party event to protest the April 15 tax day.