The ?Tea Party Movement’ Take 2
A lot of humor and ‘careless thought’ towards the silly political movements that arise here and there throughout our travels through the political seasons we experience in our lifetime.
Let’s not pretend anymore that the tea party movement is harmless and at all in any way should be given a careless glance at.
The right to protest is one of our cherished American freedoms. But there is no right to vandalism, no right to threaten our elected officials’ lives. Spit on them or call them profane names. This is simple mobbery and blatant disrespect. Someone is going to get hurt unless those who lead the movement — and those who exploit it — start acting like responsible adults. And I’ll be looking forward to the day. Any of the readers of this remember coming back from the Vietnam War and experiencing the assorted ‘welcome party movements’?
It was Sarah Palin, a favored visitor tea party crowd, who used Facebook to target 20 Democrats who voted for health care reform, indicating their districts’ locations on a map with the cross hairs of a rifle scope. It was Palin who wrote on Twitter: “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead — RELOAD! Check out Facebook for more on that. Oh God in Heaven I hope she starts her TV show and stays right where she belongs, in Hollywood or back in Alaska, rather than just jumping ship for more publicity and celebrity ravings.
That anyone still listens to her is one of the most unfortunate consequences of online social media networking.
Of the reported vandalism from articles online:
“…Close to a dozen House Democrats have had to request additional security following Sunday’s health care vote. Someone left a coffin on the lawn of Rep. Russ Carnahan’s home in Missouri. Glass doors and windows were broken at the district offices of Reps. Louise Slaughter of New York and Gabrielle Gifford’s of Arizona. Vandals have damaged Democratic Party offices in Wichita, Rochester, N.Y., and Cincinnati. And Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, whose last-minute compromise on abortion funding guaranteed final passage of the reform act, has received a flood of abusive phone calls at his office and home. Someone faxed him a drawing of a noose. One voice mail, subsequently posted on the Internet, was left by a woman who wanted Stupak to know that ‘there are millions of people across the country who wish you ill.’ Another caller was more direct: ‘You’re dead. We know where you live. We’ll get you.’”
One would expect responsible right-wingers, Republican leaders and those in leadership that the Tea Party supposedly supports, to do everything in their power to lower the tone and the temperature.
Further research has brought forth more issues of concern, not just Political Trends:
“House Minority Leader John Boehner said on Fox News that “violence and threats are unacceptable.” Minority Whip Eric Cantor disclosed that he has received numerous threats in the past and that a bullet was fired through the window of his Richmond campaign office last week. Given all this, one would think these two might have intervened Sunday when fellow House Republicans were whipping up the angry tea party crowd at the Capitol. And why? Does this mean they themselves are ‘out of ammunition’ when it comes to an attempt to de-throne the current leader? Why not work to make things better rather than making thing messier?”
But this strikes me, and probably will strike others, as ignorant and less than immature not withstanding the felonies that seem to have been committed along the way. The tea party movement is fueled by rhetoric that echoes the paranoid ravings of the most extreme right-wing nutcases and echoes of mindless radicals of times gone by.
When tea party leaders talk about the threat of “socialism” and call for “a new revolution” and vow to “take our country back,” they can say they are simply using vivid metaphors. However, they fail to forget that in other countries, even discussing creating such a gathering can lead to jail sentences of a rather long period of time; in this country we have our freedom of speech, right to assembly and so forth and so on. No where in our laws exists statues to riot or create violent mobs. We should treat this right with reverence and respect.
And further, does anyone doubt that the tea party movement attracts the kind of people who take the words of this ‘rhetoric’ literally?
Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have documented the troubling rise of right-wing militia and “patriot” groups. In addition, these kinds of groups are usually well monitored by the federal enforcement agencies for a reason. Remember Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma? Political leaders who appropriate and reinforce the extremists’ language — who urge angry people to “reload” — are being reckless and quite frankly, all together too dangerous. It is my opinion they are being, well, quite stupid as well. It is a simple fact that inciting mobs is not a good way to remove an elected official in a democratic country from office. Just because he or she has what you want. They must stop this madness before things go to far. There are more intelligent ways to solve the issues we face today.
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