Views on politics and current events

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Letter From A Tea Party Leader, And My Response

A recent letter to the Editor appeared in my local newspaper from a tea party leader, Amanda Norris. Her letter, and my reply:

Similarities are few between tea party, OWS

I keep hearing that the tea party and Occupy Wall Street have a lot in common. There are two key issues where we share frustration: the bank bailouts and crony capitalism. 

 Both groups are adamantly opposed to both issues, but that’s where the commonalities begin and end. Tea partiers believe those problems should be fixed by a return to constitutionally limited government – return government to its original scope, and you eliminate the ability of special interests to receive special benefits.
The overwhelming majority of OWS protesters would rather destroy capitalism and replace it with ... what? Not too many of them will say, but I’m guessing it will involve taking from some to give to others. Many ignore the hypocrisy of criticizing bank bailouts while demanding their own bailout through mortgage or school loan forgiveness.

Those folks have a right to protest, but they have no right to litter, vandalize, attack police or disrupt private businesses.How many tea partiers have been arrested at our rallies? Zero. How many OWS protesters? Thousands. There are small groups in communities like ours who respect private property and the law, but standing in solidarity with those who do not sends the wrong message. Wall Street isn’t the lone culprit in this crisis, and vilifying capitalism fixes nothing.

Tea partiers love this nation, want to peacefully restore it, and ensure it remains the bastion of liberty and opportunity it’s been since its inception. OWS occupiers want to create chaos and to replace everything this country stands for with a system that’s failed time and again.
For those tempted to support Occupy Wall Street, be careful who you stand with. If you value this nation, our Constitution, and the rule of law, stand up for them, fight to restore them – don’t stand with those who would violently dismantle them.

My reply:

A Reply To Amanda Norris' Letter
Dear Editor,

To paint people with a broad brush like they are all the same foregoes any possibility of discussion.  Too bad that Amanda Norris has chosen to take this tactic to paint the OWS movement.  She says the overwhelming majority of us want to destroy capitalism and replace it with something else, but we don’t know what. The group that protests Friday at Grandon Civic Center is hardly that. They do want a well regulated capitalism to make a fairer playing field.  Theodore Roosevelt understood the dangers of business getting too big way back at the turn of the 20th century. It was a wise train of thought then, and it is a wise train of thought now.

Ms. Norris says no tea party people have been arrested, that they respect private property and the Constitution, that they love this country.   There have been no arrests at any local protests, private property has been respected, and to infer that because OWS protesters do not agree with tea party philosophy that they somehow cherish the Constitution or this country less than they do, is a cheap shot.     

Instead of slinging mud based on assumptions, try and open an avenue of communication.  Would that even be possible? There are no doubt issues of agreement between the two groups if the hubris of being correct at the expense of the other side being wrong is overcome.  Or will it be more of  the old tactic, keep the peasants fighting among themselves to maintain the status quo? And remember, there are always those who wait in the wings, ready to grasp control from a movement and use it to gain power for themselves. And when that happens, we all lose.  Don’t say it can’t happen to either movement. History proves you wrong.

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