Wednesday, March 16, 2011

False Characterizations of the Tea Party and Why They’re Inaccurate

I’ve been wondering about something lately (there’s that damned curiosity thingy again). Why is there so much criticism of the Tea Party when the facts consistently prove otherwise? Rush kind of touched on this Monday when he talked about conservative critics of Sarah Palin. Ace sort of did the same yesterday, but from a slightly different angle. After all, SarahCuda and the Tea Party are pretty much inseparable.

Just as America gets a pretty bad rap worldwide, as do Christians, we’re in pretty good company. So there’s that. I can understand why America receives criticism from the rest of the world. The only thing they have to gauge us by is our TV shows, movies and music, which all generally suck. Hollywood seemingly ran out of ideas for good movies some years ago. TV shows about responsible Americans who love their families and go to work each day are about as engaging as watching grass grow. Shows have to be about things we don’t normally see or else why watch. As for our music, someone needs to explain to me how we got from “You Can Make It If You Try” to “Cop Killer(language warning) in the span of one generation.
Oh, and politics. CNN, MSNBC, and the alphabet stations’ news reports paint a very different picture of the country that the one I see every day, for the same reason I stated above. If that’s all they have to go by, then their low opinion of us is warranted.

But that’s the rest of the world.

When it comes to our own national news coverage of the Tea Party, I can also understand the MBM’s criticism. They have dropped all pretense of objectivity and lean solidly to the left (if they don’t fall all the way over), and since they’re now the official Progressive Pravda, their attitude merely serves their interests. The Tea Party threatens their power. This is also the prevailing attitude of the self-appointed Republican elite for the same reason. To them I say “Dede Scozzafava.”

And they all say pretty much the same things when they criticize: TP’ers are dumb hicks, gun-toting, Bible-clingers who can’t think much beyond their next six-pack. Anti-intellectual. Racists.

And they all smell of elderberries.

Of course, those of us on The Inside know differently. Just as those who routinely pounce on Glenn Beck have never seen his show, these detractors sound more like one of the five blind men who grope at different parts of an elephant, thinking they know the whole animal. A well-reasoned critique is beyond them due to their preconceived notions.

The most recent charge leveled at TP’ers is that they aren’t very smart. Well, all I can offer up is myself. I do claim to speak up for the party. What do you think? If you’ve poked around in the archives here, you’ve seen a wide range of subjects along with some ideas for solving problems. I certainly don’t consider myself an intellectual in the traditional sense: I don’t have a degree from a fancy university and I certainly wasn’t born to a prominent family, although my folks have been here since before there was an America.

I identify with Mrs. Palin because I see in her many of the same qualities. She has street smarts. She’s what I call a “real world” person, grounded in reality, aware of what works out here. She doesn’t spend her time inside an office surrounded by lackeys. She hunts and fishes alongside her husband, loves her kids and thinks government should be run by average Americans. That’s how she entered politics, as a regular citizen. And for that, she is roundly regarded as stupid. As Rush points out, the same charge was leveled at one Ronald Reagan. Again, good company.

And we’re Bible-toters. Hmm, OK, guilty as charged on that one. But how is that out of the American mainstream when over 90% of us claim to believe in a Higher Power? And what’s wrong with having a strong moral foundation with which to measure the world and the people in it? It certainly serves me well, as I’m certain it does you. But there’s something wrong with that according to some. I hold no animosity towards others who believe differently as long as they do as I do and allow me to live my life in peace.

Here’s the one that really puzzles me: Tea Partiers are racists.

Really? Then how do you explain the election of Colonel Alan West? He’s black you know. Same for Tim Scott. How about Marco Rubio? His folks are from Cuba. Nikki Haley? She’s only the first Indian-American ever elected to a governorship. Maybe it’s just me, but if the Tea Party was so full of racists, as some contend, these candidates wouldn’t have even been considered for office, much less elected. So that pervasive argument falls flat on its little face like a drunken leprechaun. They all do under a bit of scrutiny.

Yeah, we get lied about a lot, but just a couple of facts show the detractors how wrong they are.

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