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Richard Larsen: The Tea Party Movement, for the Intellectually Challenged

October 27th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

If you believe the Tea Party movement is comprised of a bunch of crazy, gullible, illiterate lunatics, this column’s for you, as a primer not a comprehensive exegesis. The mainstream media and career politicians are telling you that’s what the movement is comprised of. With the proliferation of “how to” books for “dummies,” the temptation was to name this column accordingly. Instead, let’s just say this is for the politically intellectually-challenged. So for you who take such deep draughts of the colloquial mainstream Kool Aid du jour, this column’s for you.

As one local columnist penned, the Tea Party folk are no better than the gullible fools responding to the cry of the street peddler hawking “gen-yew-wine” deals. By implication, they have no thoughts of their own and simply follow the loudest cry and their gullibility is exceeded only by their ignorance. And more explicitly, they’re “simple folk” who hate “’govermint.’ They don’t like it until they need it.”

Contrary to the condescending and ill-informed assertion of the columnist, Tea Party conservatives aren’t “simple folk,” especially if that’s his euphemism for “stupid.” They are, however, driven by common sense and logic. I believe they know the Constitution and the principles this country was founded on better than the entire administration in Washington, as well as many who deride the movement using such language as the aforementioned columnist.

Consequently, they know the proper bounds and limitations of government, which does not include bankrupting the country, foisting confiscatory taxes on the citizenry, expanding “corporate welfare” to the point where entire industries are taken over or controlled by bureaucrats in Washington who know little of the respective industries. And they expect them to do something about unemployment besides attacking and bashing the private sector that does most of the employing!

Tea Partiers support the constitutional functions of government, and logical and progressive levels of taxation in order to support them. They support logical, protective regulation, but reject centralized planning and government intrusion into every aspect of our lives at the cost of our liberty.

On the national front we are afflicted with a bevy of illiterate and ignorant pundits who likewise know little, and understand even less, where the Tea Partiers are coming from. Not least of these is Chris Matthews, who seems to think that if the 33 trapped miners in Chile were Tea Partiers “They would have been killing each other after about two days.” Matthews continues, displaying even more of his ignorance by claiming the Tea Partier’s “central belief is ‘every man for himself.’ …No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net.”

This is so ludicrous it’s tempting to simply let it stand on its own speciousness. But it does command a couple of responses. To the contrary, Chris, Tea Partiers believe in a sense of community borne of compassion traceable to roots of religiosity. They reach out to help another because they have the freedom and heart to do so, not because a bureaucrat or politician commands them to do it.

And far from believing in “no more everything, no more safety net,” the Tea Partiers are fiscal realists and see the decimation caused to Medicare by Obamacare, and realize the security of Social Security is a broken promise to future generations (probably starting with mine) if fiscal discipline and responsible planning are not adopted expeditiously in the halls of Congress.

I honestly think no one can say what the 21st century Tea Partier believes in better than one of our 18th century founders, Thomas Jefferson. He succinctly stated, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”

Right now we have a government that is neither wise nor frugal. In four short years since the majority party took over Congress, federal debt has doubled, and the yearly deficit has more than quadrupled. They pass regulations and laws that create more problems than they solve, while leaving the real underlying problems unaddressed. Exemplary among those are financial reform that doesn’t solve the problems that led to this recession, and “health-care” reform that, contrary to promises, is making everyone’s insurance more expensive and is drastically affecting Medicare.

We need a wise and frugal government. We deserve it, and expect it, and are motivated perhaps more than ever before to do something about it. For the intellectually challenged whose perception of the Tea Party movement is as convoluted as the aforementioned examples, we love America and the principles that made her great. And for us, these mid-term elections can’t come quickly enough!

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