This blog has been cross posted over at Blogher.
On September 12, 2009, thousands, based on various new sources outside of the conservative circles, who claim that the liberal media is dismissing their numbers. The purpose of the 9/12 project, organized by Glenn Beck and Freedom Works, who is responsible for the "grassroots" organizing of the tea parties. If you look at who runs Freedom Works, it is not a small grassroots organization. ACORN is more of a grassroots organization, and that's saying a lot. People got together, they carried signs, they chanted, they cheered. But why? I'm not quite sure, when interviewed many said they were concerned about rising taxes, the stimulus spending, gun control, the fight against socialism/fascism/communism/marxism, and to bring America back to being a Christian nation. All in all, there was no real concrete reason for this gathering, except to gather together in opposition of the President.
I understand people being upset about the stimulus package, I really do, as of this week, it's been a year since AIG received their first bailout package. Obama has been president for nine months. That means the bailouts started occurring before Obama became President. It makes me wonder, why these people did not organize until AFTER Obama became President. Why did they not protest when George Bush encouraged these bailouts for the protection of our faltering economy? This is the question I often ask those who are pro tea party, and they can never really answer it. I guess it's ok to have corporate bailouts when you're a Republican, but not when it's a Democrat. That's the message I'm getting from this argument. I should note, I was against the bail outs from the very beginning, if figured if we are capitalist society, we should let those companies who mishandled their resources fail. If it weren't for the laissez faire regulation of these companies, implemented by Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr., we wouldn't have had to bail them out to begin with, but that's just my opinion. I didn't protest, I just made sure to save money for this recession, in case my husband loses his job.
Another argument we hear about is the concern of rising taxes. Obama has decided to tax 5% of the population, bringing them closer to the tax rate that President Reagan had them at. Why were these people not upset at Reagan? Why do these people fail to recognize that 95% of people will receive a tax cut? When Obama raises taxes for the majority of Americans, I will be the first to be in line protesting. I, like most Americans, I assume don't like paying taxes, but realize it's a necessary evil. I will however say that, in order to insure my community has great schools, libraries, an effective police, fire, and emergency resources, taxes don't bother me so badly. I like having early childhood development and after school programs for the children of my community. I like knowing that the elderly have a place to go during the day,so that they can interact with others, and keep busy, which in turns keeps them healthy. I guess I don't mind paying taxes when I see where it is going.
The argument on gun control, I don't quite understand it. I don't understand why people are so eager to bring an AK-47 to a town hall meeting. I live in Texas, it is perfectly legal for people to carry concealed weapons, excluding certain places like schools. Note, I said concealed, why would you go around showing your gun to the general public, unless you wanted to instill unrest and discomfort. He did in 1999, urged the prohibiting the operation of a gun store within five miles of a school or park. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound horrible. I don't want a liquor store or a strip club near a school or park either. That's my "conservatism" sticking out. He supports gun control. I do too. I don't understand why anyone needs an AK-47. My understanding you need guns for protection and hunting. Either or, an AK-47 might be overwhelming for such things. Again, just my opinion. Right now most people, depending upon their state, and their criminal record, can get access to a hand gun or gun used for legitimate hunting.
The biggest argument I hear about is the socialism/fascism/communism/marxist. I really don't think the people who throw around these accusations actually know the definitions of any of these things. Obama is not any of those things, not to mention fascism and socialism are complete opposites of each other. Communism is a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership. We can look at the bailouts for that, but we need to look at Bush, not Obama for the bailouts, he was the one who got the ball rolling on that. Socialism is advocating state ownership of industry. We can again look at bailouts, and again look at Bush if you are concerned with that. Fascism is a government that promotes extreme nationalism, repression, anti communism, and is ruled by a dictator. I had no idea the Obama was a dictator, he was democratically elected by the people. I would say extreme nationalism would be something on the right with their patriotism rhetoric. If Obama is a communist, he surely couldn't be a fascist. Marxism is a philosophy in which law is considered an instrument of oppression and control, and which the ruling class uses against the working class. Per many of those at the tea parties, they are concerned with all the "hand outs" for all the "lazy" uninsured people out there. That doesn't sound like Marxism to me. It seems these are just "buzz words" used to smear any of the policies put forth by the Obama administration.
What I have learned from the Tea Parties is that the only cohesive point that people are there for is to oppose the President. Some hold signs that speak untruths. Others hold up signs that are blatantly racist. Some question the legitimacy of this President by trying to proclaim he is not an American. Some believe he is a Muslim, while others believe he is blatant racist because he went to a Christian church led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The tea parties are usually organized and embraced by those on the right. Glenn Beck who claims to be independent is a conservative. Fox News has a conservative leaning in comparison with mainstream media. I don't care what Fox News says, they are really not fair and balanced. If you look at our media, in comparison to the rest of the world, we aren't all that "liberal", unless we talk about Muslim media, which is very conservative.
When you have events organized by people like Glenn Beck, who refers to the President as a racist, which is crazy, considering he is a self identified black man with a white mother, and when you have people embracing Joe Wilson for heckling and being downright rude to the President. When these people aren't really sure why they are gathering, except for disdain of a President, I can't help but to think, all the other issues are secondary to an issue they are not mentioning, which is race. Call it the race card, but I see way too many signs that point to racism, and even if that is your fringe, why do you continue to let them dominate your ranks, and be the most vocal? Why is their silence on the end of the others in your plight, unless there is agreement and approval of these people?
The accusations made from the tea party element are nothing short of defamation. I don't have any respect for people who align themselves with the fringe and refer to themselves as the mob. It seems their intent is it intimidate, and not argue the issues, but express their anger at the fact their man didn't win, and since he didn't win, they feel they are losing control, which is why you have people like Pat Buchanan can proclaim this country was built by white people, and get no reprimand, but rather silence. When you listen to blatant racists like Rush Limbaugh and use their rhetoric, I can't respect you. I know that sounds harsh, but with this last election, I see undertones of people actually reverting back to the past, wanting to embrace McCarthyism, and think that their arguments are valid, when there is no actual proof to back many of their arguments up. It scares me at this time to think that people are scared the President will encourage their kids to go to school and work hard, but are perfectly fine with other Presidents pushing political agendas, such as No Child Left Behind to their children.
The Tea Parties scare me, not because I don't agree with protesting, I do, I love the idea of protesting to show support or dissent, but the unclear,random message that is essentially is to hate the President for no other reason than the color of his skin and that fact his name doesn't sound "American", kind of confuses me.