Okay, I know I have friends that support the Tea Party platform, and I’ve been mouthing off online lately, so I think I need to clarify some things.
Yes, I disagree with some items on the Tea Party platform, but that’s the best part of democracy. The disagreement and the conversation are how we find consensus and move forward. I think it’s great that people are being mobilized and taking advantage of their rights as American citizens to protest the government and speak freely. The fact that I disagree with it doesn’t mean that I think I’m smarter, better or more righteous. I JUST DISAGREE. Try to convince me with facts and good logical argument, don’t yell at me and call me the enemy because I’m questioning your beliefs.
My biggest issue with the Tea Party leadership and the Glenn Beck-style demagogues is the use of fear-mongering and stereotypes to gain popular support. Anyone (Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, etc) who uses simplistic caricatures and bumper-sticker jargon to mask the complexity of the actual issues is either being deliberately dishonest or willfully ignorant. These talking heads are more interested in scoring political points by demonizing the opposition rather than working with the greater community in order to come to functional solutions.
Politics is complicated. Money is complicated. LIFE is complicated. We’re dealing with social, economic and cultural issues that are so intensely and complexly interwoven that making the slightest change in one area can have vast, far-reaching and totally unintended consequences in another. Those who say that all of your problems can be blamed on some “other” group or pinned on one issue are trying to distract you from the real causes of the real problems. It’s hard enough to get together and solve our problems without self-centered glory hounds throwing F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) around to get their names in the paper.
Anyone who’s telling you that there’s a simple answer is selling something.
So, do I disagree with the Tea Party folks? Sure. But I also disagree with the Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Libertarians, Free-Marketeers and Anarcho-Communists. What gets me worried is the substitution of blame, rhetoric and posturing for discussion, debate, consesus, compromise and action.
So look around, chances are that even your supposed enemies have a lot more in common with you than the media would like you to think. We all want to be free to live our lives, find love and happiness, to raise a family (or not), be free to say what we want, worship how we choose (or don’t), and be treated fairly as possible. We’ve all been disappointed by the world around us and we all want to find a better way to do things.
Instead of blame and anger, let’s try forgiveness and dialog.
Of course, this is coming from a godless, queer-loving, communist, libertarian, liar so what do I know?