Who’s afraid of a little Tea Party? Everyone, fortunately. So says Kevin O’Brien of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, who correctly points out that while Tea Partiers may lean conservative, they are filled with more anti-incumbent fever (for both sides) than anyone would care to admit:
Democratic officeholders should be afraid.
Republican officeholders, too.
For many a year now, officeholders of both major parties have worked hard to earn the distrust of ordinary Americans. It appears that they finally have succeeded.
If only ordinary Americans hadn’t been so inattentive. If only ordinary Americans hadn’t been so trusting. If only ordinary Americans hadn’t been so damnably nice, the country would be in a better position to manage its finances today. [snip]
Better late than never, a lot of ordinary Americans are waking up to the sobering reality that there really is no one they can trust. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not government. Not corporations. And certainly not corporations in league with government.
The people who are angry today are more in tune with this nation’s founders than ordinary Americans have been in decades.
While there are those who make fun of a few tea partiers dressing up in costumes reminiscent of our founding fathers, those costumes are designed to make a point:
The United States has an intricate system of checks and balances, and a government structure based on a separation of powers, and a Bill of Rights that safeguards the rights of states and the rights of the people precisely because the greatest collection of political talent and philosophical insight ever assembled on this continent — and maybe anywhere on this planet — looked at the concept of government and said, “We need to make a really small cage for this thing, then be careful not to overfeed it.”
We seem to have lost the care-and- feeding instructions about a century ago. We let government out of its little cage and it has been consuming everything it can lay its paws on ever since. In the last 45 years, it has been on a real binge, and in the last year and a half, it has taken bigger bites than a lot of people thought possible.
Ordinary Americans who care about freedom are finally getting a clue and — horrors! — they’re hollering at members of Congress. That’s right: Nice, trusting, formerly inattentive Americans are getting in the faces of the political class and calling them names.
…If members of the political class are too tender to endure a little well-earned rudeness from the people whose hard-earned money they like to “spread around,” then they ought to get out of politics. Maybe their successors will find the voice of the people less irritating.
While O’Brien is correct in stating that this righteous anger needs to be expressed without violence, he also states that this administration and our media as taking to shutting down criticism with tactics of demonization (just like the administration before it):
Don’t doubt for a second that the left is hoping desperately for someone to step all the way out of line. They thought they had their man — and early news reports said they did — when Joseph Stack crashed his Piper Dakota into an IRS building in Texas.
As it turned out, Stack proved to be a Marx-quoting lefty — the wrong flavor of nut.
So the left has to settle for a little name-calling of its own: “ignorant,” “racist,” “homophobes,” “hooligans,” “extremists.” The list, as you know, goes on and on.
It’s bunk, but it’s the script.
Tea Party folks are just patriots worried, with good reason, about the future of the country they love. They’re vocal and they’re inspiringly unaffiliated.
They scare the hell out of both political parties, because they’ve embraced distrust.
The Democrats fear them because they see through the left’s empty promise of utopia in exchange for freedom. The Republicans fear them because they’re pushy and because they’re loyal to their principles rather than to a party.
They make everyone uncomfortable. That’s healthy.
While I’ve never been to a tea party protest, I got good and angry when the bailouts started at the end of 2008 and the pork laden non useful Stimulus package passed in 2009 and the bailouts of car companies that couldn’t run themselves properly happened, too. The 2700 page health care monstrosity, whose ugly details are now just coming to light, was the last straw.
I was taught to play by the rules only to discover my taxpayer dollars were used to bail out those using our investments as a giant ponzi scheme. And too many politicans who exempt themselves from the rules and policies we are expected to follow take pork for their districts as an inducement to continue to sell taxpayers down the river.
So crooks and liars are rewarded for their folly while the rest of us are told to pay the bill – and keep playing by the rules. That is but one reason for the groundswell of anger sweeping the country.
What are yours?