Conservatives rally to bring back common sense

Sonnie Johnson speaks at the Rally for Common Sense on Saturday in Holts Summit, Mo. The rally welcomed conservatives, urging all to get involved and work together.

Sonnie Johnson speaks at the Rally for Common Sense on Saturday in Holts Summit, Mo. The rally welcomed conservatives, urging all to get involved and work together. Photo by Madeleine Leroux.

NOTE: This story was modified on Oct. 14 to show that a "fair tax" supporter said the tax would apply to "new sales."

Many conservatives gathered in Holts Summit on Saturday to encourage more common sense in government.

The 2nd annual Rally for Common Sense featured a variety of conservative speakers and musicians, all urging those in attendance to take their country back.

Kim Paris, lead organizer and founder of the rally, said there was no one issue being promoted or any one group in charge. Paris said the goal was simply to bring people together, encourage the use of common sense and have a good time.

Paris, who worked on the Missouri campaign for former presidential candidate Herman Cain, said 1,200 people turned out for last year’s rally and organizers were hoping to see more attend this year. While many attending the rally may identify with the tea party, Paris said the rally attracts many outside of that group.

“It’s a bigger tent than tea party,” Paris said.

Paris emphasized the diversity of the rally, saying those speaking and attending come from a variety of backgrounds. She said that’s why common sense is the focus of the rally, because the divisions of race, religion or sex are not important “if you love America.”

“Without common sense, there’s no common ground,” Paris said. “This is who we are.”

Jonica Hope, an event organizer who helped found the rally with Paris, said the rally was more of a coming together for those who want to save the country.

“The heart of the issue is saving our country, protecting our Constitution,” Hope said.

Stanley Strope, of Linn, agreed.

Strope, who also attended last year’s rally, said he attended the rally because the nation is in the toilet, with the White House and Senate ready to flush.

“Somebody has to do something,” Strope said.

Diane Salmons, of New Bloomfield, said she heard of the rally through her fair tax organization, which seeks to replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax on new sales. She said she opted to attend because of her support for the fair tax and for gun rights.

“We need to start standing up for our constitutional rights before they are taken away from us,” Salmons said.

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