Archive for Tea Party Protesters

The Tea Party Revisited

Posted in current events, politics with tags , , , on November 12, 2013 by Kyle Fleming

I went on an unintentional hiatus back in May 2012. Things came up in college, I got busy, was updating the blog less and less, so I decided to give it a rest for a while. I had full intentions of returning to regular updates, but then I got a job and wasn’t able to get back into the swing of things.

Then in late October 2013, something strange happened. One of my old posts, Why The Tea Party Is Ruining America, started getting a lot of comments.

Keep in mind, I was doing nothing to promote the blog. My political opinions were slowly making their way back to Facebook, going against why I had created this blog in the first place. And suddenly, there were five comments in one day, with two more comments coming later in the week, most in favor of the Tea Party.

Because of this newfound popularity, I thought it would be nice to read some of these comments and look back on the positive influence the Tea Party has had on American politics.

I recently had a political debate on a friend’s Facebook wall after she had posted this story on how Schroedinger’s Presidential Candidate Chris Christie is being heavily scrutinized by “hyper-conservative,” Tea Party-affiliated critics who say the Republican Governor isn’t “conservative enough” to be President.

The crux of the argument at the point I jumped into it was, “Sure, you can go online, and you can find people who claim to be affiliated with the Tea Party who say truly awful things about black people and wanting to kill members of Congress, but they’re just a few bad apples. If you ignore them, then you see that the Tea Party is just as civilized as anyone else.”

But a lot of what I’ve seen online and in the news about is nothing BUT hatred and vitriol. Comments sections on news organization websites are not bound by the same poo-pooing as commercial media coverage. People I meet in reality on the streets in Florida are not bound by media spin, though they are very good at parroting.

Take this gentleman I saw driving ahead of me a couple of weeks ago:

This is an actual person. In reality. Driving a windowless white van. Covered in anti-Obama, anti-Socialist propaganda. It’s the kind of intimidation that one can’t help but be very aware of, and one that seems to permeate every political discussion I have with someone who claims to be affiliated with the Tea Party (and, occasionally, people who claim to be “a registered Independent” while spitting out conservative talking points).

When I first wrote about the Tea Party movement back in 2010, all we saw were old angry white men. Fox News would promote Tea Party rallies across the nation, sending media personalities and news anchors to these different events. They owned it for a long time. In recent years, we’ve seen Fox News back away from actively promoting Tea Party activities, while still not being overly critical of conservative politicians and events. As a whole, members of the movement have appeared to settle down.

And yet, as I saw in my Facebook debate, and as I saw on this creepy duct taped van, and as we see in the media, there are still some people affiliated with the Tea Party that are so mindless that they still believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Obama is a socialist dictator, a Muslim, who’s trying to destroy the American way of life.

In my mind, the Tea Party — which has branched out from simply a movement to a full-fledged political party in some states — is still dangerous. In my experience, there is no attempt at discourse, and there appears to be no willingness to compromise. The dangerous few are willing to shut down the government and waste $24 BILLION in taxpayer money, all in the name of fiscal conservatism. They are the ones that want to destroy America.

Claim your few bad apples all you want, Tea Partiers. Make your false equivalencies with the Occupy movement, or mainstream political parties. But your barrel is definitely rotten.

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Why the Tea Party is Ruining America

Posted in current events, opinion, politics with tags , , , on May 3, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

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?

Enough is Enough

Posted in current events, politics with tags , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

Republicans, Tea Party protesters, conservatives: This has gone too far.

I get that you’re upset about the passage of the health care reform bill. I get that you didn’t like some of the language in the bill. I get that you didn’t like how the bill was “shoved down your throats,” even though this was 100 years in progress, and major campaigning had been going on for a year.

What I don’t get is how inappropriate, violent, and childish this backlash has been. Take a look at what’s been going on since the health care bill was passed:

  • Two different people on Twitter called for the assassination of Barack Obama.
  • Rep. Bart Stupak got an obscene voice mail, calling him a “baby-killing motherf___er” and hoping that he “bleeds out [his] ass, gets cancer, and dies.”
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter had a brick thrown through her window and a voicemail threatening to have snipers kill all of the children of people who voted for the bill.

This has to stop. This is absolutely unacceptable. I get that there was a better way to go around getting health care reform, but there is also a better way to go around voicing your discomfort.

People had their qualms with President Bush when he was in office. And I’ll even admit that I had a few choice words for the man every so often. But nobody threw bricks, nobody left voicemails, and definitely nobody so publicly and adamantly called for his assassination!

Where have our heads gone? What kind of world has this turned into that everything that is said is taken at face value, and that no thought goes into our actions anymore?

And these aren’t rebellious teenagers! The stereotypical demographic that would be causing this much destruction and mayhem are actually the peaceful once! It’s older Americans, people over 40 years old, that are acting like children, throwing tantrums like children do, and making nuisances of themselves.

The main argument I keep hearing from people is that as taxpayers, they don’t want to pay for abortions, the way the new health care bill proposes. Guess what? As tax payers, you’re already paying for stuff you don’t even realize you’re paying for. This website lays out where taxes currently go:

32% Social Security, Medicare and Other Retirement

  • Income support for retired and disabled persons
  • Medical care for the elderly
23% National Defense, Veterans and Foreign Affairs

  • Equip, modernize and pay our armed forces
  • Fund national defense activities
  • Veterans benefits and services
  • Military and economic assistance to foreign countries
  • Maintenance of our embassies abroad
19% Social Programs

  • Medicaid
  • Food stamps
  • Health programs
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Assisted housing and social programs
8% Net interest on the debt

  • Interest payments on the national debt
12% Physical, Human and Community Development

  • Agricultural programs
  • Natural resources and environment programs
  • Transportation programs
  • Aid for elementary and secondary education
  • Direct assistance to college students Space, energy and general science programs
2% Law Enforcement and General Government

  • Federal law enforcement
  • Prisons
  • General costs of the federal government
  • Collection of taxes and legislative activities

I’m a taxpayer. I don’t want to pay for military support, because I don’t feel we should be a warring nation. But I pay it anyway. I also pay for illegal immigrants to use the emergency rooms at hospitals. I don’t want to, but I pay it anyway. I don’t want to pay for prisons or unemployment, but I have to, because that’s what taxpayers do.

This is the only con I’m hearing. I don’t want my taxes to go toward something I oppose.

Too bad.

There are much better pros to the whole thing: better health care, more available treatments, better insurance, and so on and so forth.

You say you love America, but you can’t even help your fellow Americans. It’s pathetic. It’s horrific. It’s unChristian.

Something must be done, and it starts with the American people. Find better ways to express your disgust. Write a Congressperson, makes phone calls, campaign.

Don’t be losers, throwing bricks, making obscene phone calls and death threats. And for God’s sake, if you’re going to “threaten” to move out of the country, do so. Find out for yourself how well you have it here.

Words cannot describe how disgusted I am with you people. Shame on you. From the bottom of my heart: shame, shame on you.

Politics and the Playground: Democrats are Geeks and Republicans are Bullies

Posted in current events, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

Normally, I don’t let my political views sway what I write about. I believe I mentioned earlier–perhaps a couple of times–that my views are strictly my views, and I rarely, if ever, push them on people.

That being said: Republicans are bullies.

And also: Democrats are geeks.

And further still: Politicians are children.

And one more for good measure: Americans are just as childish.

If anyone watched any part of the health care vote on any news outlet last night, they were treated to probably one of the most immature demonstrations of American governmental procedure of all time. Everything you expected (Tea Party protesters shouting racial slurs at House Democrats), and some that you didn’t (A Republican calling Rep. Bart Stupak a “baby killer”), and some that are just so completely off the wall you’d think it was a surrealist play or something (Bricks being through through Democratic Party office windows).

The House was rarely, if ever, in order. Though the Representatives were formal in there procedures (yielding time, “Mr. Speaker,” etc.), there was an obvious hatred and disdain for the other party.

Absolutely no Republicans at all supported anything about the health care reform bill. At all. At times I wondered if it was because they truly thought the bill needed some work. But looking at the campaigning against the bill, the hateful propoganda against the bill, and the constant references to the bill as “ObamaCare,” I realized that it was only apposed because of it’s Islamo-socio-fascist tendancies.

If we’re to believe the gross exaggerations the most vocal Republicans were throwing out, you’d think that the Health Care Bill required that all American citizens were to become Muslims, be euthanized at 65, and have a manditory abortion twice a month, regardless of gender. You’d think that all of your money is going toward illegal immigrants getting cosmetic surgery, and that if you so much as thought about speaking ill of the bill, you were to be shot on sight.

That’s not to say that Democrats are perfect. Far from it: if they had been more vocal about what was actually in the bill, and would actually take a stand against Tea Party protesters who simply attended hearings to down down the Senators and Representatives, something more might have been done with the bill. Maybe there would have been a more productive discussion. Maybe there would have been changes made, and an actual compromise to the bill, rather than, and I’m quoting every Fox News “journalist” here, “shoving it down the American people’s throats.”

The whole debacle reminded me of my days as a child, playing on the playground, and watching the bullies and the geeks abuse and be abused.

Play this scenario out with me: Republicans are bullies, Democrats are geeks, the American people are the rest of the playground, and the health care bill is tag:

A friendly game of tag is being played, when one of the geeks realizes that the game is kind of becoming unfair, so he proposes a new game of tag. Maybe they were playing normal tag, and this geek would like to play freeze tag.

One of the bullies says, “You just want to change the game because you’re sick of losing all the time!”

The geek says, “Actually, I just don’t like how this game works, and I want to play a version that works for everyone.”

And the bully says, “The game is working fine as it is. We don’t need to change it.”

And other geeks start saying, “Actually, I’m not really having fun with it. And neither are other people on the playground.”

And the rest of the playground says, “Yeah, let’s change the game.”

And the bullies say, “You guys are just wussies. You’re just bringing up a change in the game because you want to avoid the fact that you’re losing!”

And the geeks say, “Well, everyone is losing right now. Let’s just play freeze tag.”

And the bullies say, “Look around you! Nobody else wants to play freeze tag!”

And the rest of the playground says, “Actually, I don’t mind changing the game.” But a few say, “Actually, yeah, I don’t want to play freeze tag.”

So the bullies start shouting. And the geeks can’t handle the shouting. They try to reason with the bullies, to get a compromise, maybe just tweak the rules, but they end up getting beat up after school.

Finally, the time comes when they want to change the game once and for all. The geeks gathered a lot of support for freeze tag, but the bullies know that it’ll never get changed, and they hope to play one last game of tag before the bell rings, signaling the end of recess.

They take a vote, the way all kids do when they want to be fair about changing the game. None of the bullies want to change the game. More geeks than bullies want to change it. The motion passes.

Then the bullies start calling the geeks names, evil names, and threaten to beat them up again unless they change their mind. But the game has been changed, and there’s nothing the bullies can do about it except whine and moan some more and pout because they didn’t get their way.

This is an important, 100-years-in-the-making decision that could mean better health care for everyone in America, and the Republicans don’t like it, only because it is Islamo-socio-fascist-ObamaCare.

Kids these days and their running the country. Whatever shall we do with them?