By Calvin Palmer
The ultra-conservative tea party has had an easy ride for far too long and been given an air of respectability that it hardly merits.
Now opponents plan to get down and get dirty in order to expose the movement for what it is.
Jason Levin, creator of http://www.crashtheteaparty.org/, says his group has 65 leaders in major cities in the U.S. who are trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15 – tax filing day – when tea party groups across the country are planning to gather and protest high taxes.
“Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to the person saying, ‘That’s right, he’s an alien from outer space!’” Levin said.
The tea party says the backlash comes from ignorance. Now there is the pot calling the kettle black.
“They can’t actually debate our message and that’s their problem,” said Bob MacGuffie, a Connecticut organizer for Right Principles, a tea party group that also has members in New York and New Jersey.
The tea party advocates the principles of small government, lower taxes and less spending.
Hmmm, do they really? I wonder what the tea party reaction would be to a massive reduction in defense expenditure. I doubt they would be applauding such a move, even if it reduced their taxes.
A lot of people in Jacksonville support the tea party. These people do not want to see the downtown revitalized by city council money in case it leads to an increase in property taxes. They don’t want the city to spend any money on ensuring the Jacksonville Jaguars remain in the city. Other cultural and artistic pursuits would have to fend for themselves if left to the tea party.
They are the kind of people who welcome cutbacks in education so that children no longer learn about art, music and literature.
What kind of society do these people want to see? One where everyone becomes a couch potato in front of the mindless offerings of cable TV?
But they will clap their hands with glee to see taxpayers’ money spent on bringing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Mayport naval base.
And to the Jacksonville tea party people, I would ask them to consider one fact – the economic viability of the city is largely based on big government spending big money to maintain Jacksonville Naval Air Station, the Mayport U.S. Navy base and other military facilities.
But then we get down to the nitty-gritty of what really lies behind the tea party. In Jacksonville meetings, tea party supporters have paraded effigies of Barack Obama hanging from a noose.
And that is part of the tea party’s unpleasant agenda that masquerades behind the calls for lower taxation.
“Do I think every member of the tea party is a homophobe, racist or a moron?” Levin said. “No, absolutely not.
“Do I think most of them are homophobes, racists or morons? Absolutely.”
Another tea party organizer said the attempt to destroy the movement was evidence its message is resonating.
“We’ve been ignored, we’ve been ridiculed. Well, now they’re coming after us,” said Judy Pepenella, a co-coordinator for the New York State Tea Party. “Ghandi’s quote is one we understand: ‘First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.'”
God help America if the tea party ever wins. The sooner these myopic, mean-spirited, racist and selfish individuals are exposed for what they really are, the better for the political health of the nation.
The tea party and the likes of Sarah Palin represent an ugly stain on the political landscape not seen since the days of George Wallace. And that kind of mentality should have no place in the political conscience of the United States in the 21st century.
History has taught us only too well what happens when self-righteous clerks, petty-minded small businessmen, chicken farmers and war heroes seize the reins of political power.
[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]