A while back, our local Antelope Valley Press ran a letter from a guy who felt charity toward neither Tea Parties nor Ronald Reagan, conflating the two in order to blame the latter for the former. Of course, it was such garbage that I was moved to reply. The paper published the first half of my response on June 5, but interestingly sent my second half down the memory hole. That was the part in which I explained how the modern Tea Party concept arose in 2007, from a fundraiser by Ron Paul's supporters on Boston Tea Party Day. What follows in normal typeface is what the paper published. The part in italics afterward is what got, er, omitted.
I realize that everyone is entitled to his own wrong opinion, but most people do base theirs at least partially on facts. Edwin Womble’s opinions about Tea Parties are a departure from that stodgy tradition.
As nearly as I can determine, Edwin finds Tea Partiers to be “political terrorists” unable to compromise, who lead “sordid, pathetic lives” yet are somehow powerful enough to torpedo Our Dear Leader’s most incisive plans and hold the Republicans in abject terror.
I have personally attended a couple of Tea Party events but I encountered no terrorists there. The first, which had been co-opted by the local Republican apparatus, consisted of a series of speeches by local politicos and others who didn’t take questions and who, when threatened intellectually, took refuge in jingoism. A big disappointment, surely, but hardly a threat to the GOP.
The second was last summer, when the Tea Party Patriots (a different group) read the Constitution on a street corner in Lancaster. Many drivers honked and gave us thumbs-up.
They allowed me, a perfect stranger, to read the Preamble. With control of the mic, I could have, if I’d been so inclined, spewed a Marxist tirade so vile as to have embarrassed even the likes of Womble. Such trusting folks! Those gentle people were not terrorists, and surely no threat to anyone who respects our nation’s founding principles.
Another error: Governments do not “provide” basic rights like freedom of speech and of worship. Instead, such rights inhere in individual human beings and governments mostly infringe on them (e.g. Patriot Act, , etc.).
It is factually untrue, by the way, that the Tea Party movement began with Ronald Reagan. Actually it was rooted in a record-setting internet fundraiser by Ron Paul’s supporters in December 2007, commemorating the original Boston Tea Party. Nine months later, Tea Party symbolism was conspicuous at Ron Paul’s great Rally for the Republic. Womble may have found it necessary to distort the record in order to link Tea Parties with Reagan, whom he dislikes
Womble’s case against Reagan is a textbook example of Progressivist “thought”: Construct a straw man (the flimsier, the better) and then whomp the stuffin’ out of it, repeatedly. Case in point: Reagan’s pronunciation of “government.” Remember, Reagan was once a radio announcer. Nonetheless, we are asked to believe that he habitually said “the guvment is not the solution,” for always “it was a two syllable word with Saint Ronnie.” Anybody can search YouTube for “reagan government problem” and hear Reagan clearly enunciate all three syllables in his first inaugural address. But Progressives don’t care about truth, they just care about winning. That always justifies their means.
It is possible, of course, that I’ve done Womble an injustice, and he’s merely a little deaf. He might not have heard the middle syllable. In that case, getting fitted with a hearing aid should give him access to all the syllables. Too bad there’s no way to fit guys like that with a thinking aid.