To the Editor:
Months ago, I wrote in response to a letter from a member of the DeKalb County Tea Party. In a subsequent letter, I offered to attend a meeting to listen.
The opportunity came Jan. 19 at the Elks Lodge in DeKalb. Ex-Congressman Joe Walsh was the guest speaker. I was expecting someone loud and verbose. I was not disappointed. He was there to fire up the troops, but Walsh had little to say that I had not heard before.
The president of the DeKalb County Tea Party, before introducing Walsh, referred to President Obama as a Marxist. He could not have outdone Mr. Walsh, who, you may recall, had previously declared President Obama a tyrant, elected based on race.
This is interesting: A historically anti-communist, freedom-loving country, voted in a black, Marxist tyrant. And Obama won because the race was rigged.
With Obama as President, and the pitfalls of a chubby government, Walsh had the 35 or so “patriots” on the edge of their seats.
I believe there are no easy solutions to helping more people in this country find jobs in an aching economy, or wrestling with a gorilla of a budget, but a civil discussion of the options requires some mediation and mutual agreement, things the Tea Party movement finds so distasteful.
The Tea Party does not seem to have caught on that bipartisan cooperation does not equal collaboration with the enemy.
Politicians who are able to reach across the aisle already know that one method, one system, or one idea can not and should not rule the day. Politicians know that worldviews will differ. That is how we humans are built, and because of it, politics and economics are messy.
Yes, politics are dirty, and they were dirty in 1776.
I understand the current concern, but all I heard Jan. 19 was one-sided anger, heavy-handed criticism of the President, Democrats, and moderate Republicans, and a speaker whose thinly veiled words hinted at revolt, presumably the kind that would test the Second Amendment.
As columnist Leonard Pitts put it: “We play a zero-sum game where party trumps country, reason is treason, and ... he who yells the stupidest thing in the loudest voice, wins.”
Sorry, but the Tea Party movement is not my cup of tea. Like other movements in the past, the numbers will dwindle.
Thirty-five negatives don’t make a positive.