Thi s blog hasn’t been about politics, but living in the United States this past few years has meant many people who don’t think about politics are thinking about it now. I have been interested for a while, but have gotten more active with each passing election. I admit it, I have attended three tea party get togethers in my area.
I have talked with people who attend the tea parties, and really, all of the ones I have spoken to seem to be regular people who just don’t like the policies being pushed through Congress and passed on to the President. Though it’s been said they are an “angry mob” I have found them to be the most polite group of protesters I have seen. They don’t fit the stereotype of protester, that’s for sure. Many are grandparents, parents, workers, stay at home moms, generally conservative. They show up on time and leave at the stated end of the event. Most have witty signs, and some will yell, but I’ve not seen much animation. There’s more yelling at a regular high school football game.
I also listen to different radio/television opinion media. Those who are with the tea party types speak about the current leaders with a bit of fear. They predict a socialist type future for the United States, and they state the Constitution is being ignored at the very least, some say destroyed. All conservative opinion media believes the health care laws are a disaster, as are many of the newest laws put forth. Politicians on the conservative side echo the conservative opinion media. There are comments thrown about such as socialist, communist, and marxist.
On the other side of opinion media, and even from the politicians leaning liberal, we hear insults claiming the tea party protesters are right wing extremists. I watched a piece claiming to have tapes of the Oklahoma City bomber, and using the same exact terms to describe him as are used against tea party people. It all makes me uneasy.
I know what I think of the laws being passed. I am not sure what to make of all the name calling and the intensity of it. I also know personally the media slants things to appear a certain way. The local tea parties I’ve attended have been under numbered, often outright ignored, but when reported often the more colorful people have been highlighted. This is a small annoyance to me, but still tells me that if the media cannot be honest in the small details (like actual number attending), they are capable of making the whole group look racist or extreme when it’s not.
And the pen cuts both ways. There are many claims about the left out there, and many of them I refuse to jump on. I’d rather focus on the issues presented and decide based on what’s on paper (if I can find the time to read through it all!) rather than what people claim about a person or group. We can disagree and still vote to decide things.
There’s a lot of yelling out there, a lot of obnoxious opinions floating…who can be trusted? This time in our history as a nation is new to my generation, the climate is different. I’m not sure exactly what to do!