Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Fundamental Misunderstanding

So I didn't, in the end, make it to a tea party.

My day just didn't allow for me to attend events that were scheduled in the midst of my busiest day of the week.

But I read as much as I could on the coverage of it.

It was pretty awesome.

Except for much of the mainstream news coverage.

In a nutshell, the media--and the government for that matter--viewed the tea party attendees as right-wing extremists capable of Timothy McVeigh style violence. The CNN reporter sent to cover the event picked some guy who wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed to 'prove' that point. It was obvious she didn't spend time researching the intent of the tea party. She didn't spend time talking to a bunch of people once she got there before going live with her 'interview.' She not only did a disservice to the ideas of truth and justice, she did a disservice to her profession and showed herself to be far from prepared and far from objective--two of the very most basic fundamentals of good journalism.

So what was the intent of the tea party?

Was it bash Obama?

Not specifically. Obama isn't the problem. He's only the tail end of a long string of problems stretching all the way back to (now don't be shocked) Alexander Hamilton's attempted paper-money fiscal policy during the very first presidential administration.

Hamilton's attempt was killed by President Washington's wiser and more accurate interpretation of the founders' intent for this fine nation.

But Hamilton's ideas didn't die. They grew over the course of 200+ years until today, when we have come to a point at which many eyes have been opened by a president who is taking the policies of generations of 'liberal' and 'revisionist' presidents and congresses before him to a more extreme (and expensive) level than ever before seen.

Who are the liberals and revisionists?

They constitute the majority of politicians since FDR, and a good percentage of them since Teddy Roosevelt, and a considerable number before then.

It's not about party. Conservative and Republican can hardly be used accurately in the same sentence. It's about ideals. It's about a group of men who were considerably more learned and wise than we, who studied the myriad of mistakes made by governments for thousands of years before their own and tried to establish a government that would most nearly solve every issue of decay those previous governments fell under.

And they almost did it.

Their only flaw?

Us. You. Me. A populace spoiled upon the fruits of the labors of those who came before us, filled with pride in our prosperity, more concerned with security than liberty, void of passion about the things that our founders held MOST dear--individual liberty and contempt of the necessary evil of government. They failed in their expectation that we would continue to hold those things dear. They failed in their expectation that we would make wise and educated choices about the representatives we elected, and that we would then continue to keep track of their performances and kick out those representatives who failed to treasure and protect our liberties and keep government limited to the powers carefully enumerated in the constitution.

A radio host I sometimes listen to has a 'test' for new laws our representatives consider:

If the new law limits personal liberty AND/OR expands the scope/size/role of government and governance in our lives then it fails the test.

I know of few laws and measures passed these days that pass that test.

That's what the tea party is all about. It's about being tired of a government (and NOT just the current government) that continually fails that test--now to the detriment of untold generations after us who will be paying for policies already proven unsuccessful all over the globe and for time immemorial.

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