Interlaced with readings from the Declaration of Independence, rally speakers said the most important step that can be taken is political awareness and involvement.
Get to know your legislators, take them out to coffee and then ensure that they are responsive to you and not to lobbyists, the business roundtables or to chambers of commerce, said Jenni White, president of Restore Oklahoma Public Education.
“If they get their information from a lobbyist or from the chamber of commerce, and not from you, then who are they listening to?” White said.
“We are at a crossroads in this nation. Complacency will not steer America back on its course; only active participation can man that boat.”
Several pastors also spoke, pleading with those in attendance to replace bureaucracy and federal mandates with the original law of the land.
“There are some good people in that building behind me, but that building cannot solve our problems,” said Dan Fisher, senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon. “There is only one that can help us.”
Mary Lynn Hammond said she drove to the Capitol from Tulsa to support the rally because she believes the national health care legislation is misguided. Hammond said the event was meant to re-energize the state's tea party activists, recruit some new ones and to get everyone focused on the priority issues as election season arrives.
Sitting in a chair affixed with a sign that read, “Mary, we're watching you” — a reference to Gov. Mary Fallin — Hammond said responsible activism starts on the local level and spreads from there.
“The target today is health care — we don't want the government taking over our bodies,” Hammond said.
“And if it takes going to another state, we'll go to another state and help them out. If we have to go to Missouri and take Claire McCaskill out we will.”