Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Right to Rebel

"I'm scared America. I'm scared for you and your children and for the sanctity of the American life we have all enjoyed until now." This is something that Glenn Beck says on an almost nightly basis. The eminent destruction of the United States has been coming for the last two years and the fear mongering seems to grow worse everyday. Beck, however, has become an important voice for the growing Tea Party Movement, who really see the government going to pieces.

The Tea Party Movement is a conservative movement that has come to prominence in the time after the recession and the passing of the stimulus and bailout packages. They are preaching "classical" American values and looking to re-establish the Constitution as the governing document of the United States. They believe that the government no longer represents their interests and Washington does nothing more than pander to a select group of lobbyists. What I'm about to say perhaps gives a little too much credit to the Tea Partiers and their movement. The Tea Party Movement obviously has found an ostracized and disillusioned demographic. People are losing their jobs and defaulting on their mortgages, and their faith in government has been shaken, and rightfully so. The failing of the banks and the housing bubble that caused it were not unavoidable. And profit was sought in spite of the large risks being taken.

The Federal government has become nothing short of a tyrannical "socialist" state that is encroaching upon its citizen’s rights. People are scared that their government is becoming a police state that is seeking, like never before, to control all aspects of their lives. They want to see a reduction in the size of government, reduction in taxes, and protection of their "liberties." The Tea Party Movement, however, is taking legitimate concerns and is hyperbolizing them to the point where they lose all credibility. The bank bailout and the stimulus packages are seen as nothing more than Washington pandering to Wall Street. It is hard, however, to convey to these people the importance of such policy. The government could have saved $800 billion and not passed the stimulus package, but this would have been done at the cost of going into a full depression. Lines to collect unemployment would have become soup lines. It is facts such as these that are not touted by the right-wing media and its supporters (pretty clear why). Providing healthcare has becoming a socialistic plot that will lead to "death panels" and the government deciding who lives or dies. Such claims may seem illogical and farce to some, but for many in the movement it has become a legitimate concern.

Many are dismissing the Tea Party Movement as a decentralized and cantankerous group, but I think they are gaining more and political sway. We are already seeing politicians trying to align themselves with the movement. I see this as a danger for two reasons: it eliminates any possibility of bipartisan cooperation and gives credibility to many of their fallacious claims. The Republican and Democratic parties are more at odds than at any other point in recent history and if the government is to address issues such as healthcare, two wars abroad, and a ballooning deficit, they need more unity and not more division. People, in times of strife, will clamor and rage, but this is not the time to do it. We do not need another war raging on our own front.

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