I’d like to begin this post by saying that I have no problem with protest movements. If you feel that you are suffering an injustice, by all means speak up. If you are opposed to war, hold a rally. If you are opposed to abortion, start a picket line.
However, what I have a problem with is ignorance and “unintelligence.” And from what I’ve seen from the Tea Party Movement, it is made up of nothing but.
In the 16 April 2010 edition of the Des Moines Register, there is a fantastic article on the Tax Day Tea Party Rallies. In the article there are several Tea Party protesters interviewed, and while Fox News and other conservatives want you to think that this movement is revolutionary and all of that, the quotes that are offered in the article are very telling:
… Ina Breeden, a 70-year-old great-grandmother… [said] that Obama wrote in “Dreams from My Father” that everyone he’s been surrounded by in politics is a Marxist…. Breeden said she hadn’t read the book, but had heard others talking about it.
… “Everything he’s done,” [Diana Clancy] said of Obama, “he’s followed the same orders as Hitler.”
The only problem with these sorts of statements is that they are blatantly wrong. Nowhere in “Dreams from My Father” does it say that he was surrounded by Marxists. Even Mrs. Clancy’s statement is followed by an immediate retraction from her: “Don’t put that. He’s going to come after me.”
The conservative pundits are up in arms about how the Liberals–with their unGodly, baby-killing, pot-smoking, gay-marrying, socialist, fascist, Communist ways–are wrongly portraying the “Tea-baggers” as racist and violent, because they are making sweeping generalizations about a few (which ironically enough, is what they’re doing to Liberals).
And I’ll concede to the fact that there might only be a few racists in the Tea Party movement. And maybe only a few people are throwing rocks in the windows of Congresspeople and are calling for the outright murder of those who voted for the health care bill. But what simply can’t be ignored is the obvious fact that most Tea Party protesters are stupid and ignorant.
Tea Party protesters and Conservatives didn’t want the health care bill “shoved down the throats of the American people.” Never mind that health care reform had been talked about for 50 years. Never mind that there was only a real push for change in the last year. Never mind that there were plenty of opportunities to engage in healthy and meaningful debate of the bill. And never mind that, despite having both HR 3200 and HR 3962 posted online, no one even bothered to read it. It was all too fast and not the change we wanted.
Maybe it’s not the fact that the Tea Party protesters are stupid. Maybe every once in a while a reporter finds a very articulate and knowledgeable protester who knows what he’s talking about, and that screws up whatever narrative that particular news source was going for. The biggest problem is that these people are misinformed about everything.
And what news source is the biggest supporter of the Tea Party movement? Fox News.
It’s amazing how Fox News and Conservative pundits so easily defend the violent actions of this movement, and yet somehow get offended when people call them out on it. It’s also been pointed out on several occasions that Fox News will even tamper with video to make it appear that these protests are bigger than they really are.
Misinformation combined with fear-mongering, combined with impressionable people who will loudly relay any information no matter how wrong it is, equals a dangerous creature that no one can control. The Tea Party movement is promoting ignorance and violence, all without a coherent message. And also their costumes are pretty dumb.
I just don’t get how people can still believe something that has been shown to be wrong over and over again. Is it that common sense is dead, or is it more that in today’s American society, free-thinking and intelligence isn’t in vogue?