City of Roses
Even though I said recently I had no intention of returning to the Alley because I felt it was unhealthy for me to constantly allow myself to get enshrouded in heated discussion here and that just isn't me............I have to make a point here.
During the previous administration, I regularly staunchly defended the anti-war movement..............as I felt many personalities were making lumpenproletariat claims about anti-war demonstrators being anti-military, traitors and terrorist sympathizers, among other unfounded logical fallacies. I KNEW this because I regularly joined anti-war demonstrations myself, and while I never once denied there were a handful of individuals in each crowd that I was at odds with in that they were judgmental toward authority in general, most were very much just like me..............and we protested not the military, but our foreign policy.
As you may recall, I said at the time that I believe it is a mistake to dismiss and marginalize civil disobedience and grassroots mobilizing in general, because dissent is what completes democracy............and while there will always be sour grapes in each crowd that do actually promote violence and bigotry, things I condemn wholeheartedly and must be discouraged...........we need to call the sour grapes as they are played, rather than make sweeping, hasty generalizations that make the overwhelmingly civil majority look bad.
Now, I believe the exact same mistake is being made again, only this time towards what's being termed the Tea Party Movement.
Although I will acknowledge I respectfully disagree with much of their political platform (I actually feel the Tea Party Movement isn't exactly a centralized platform at this time and is more a shared populist-leaning attitude towards a broken Beltway and overreaching government influence)............I believe those dismissing their feelings are making a huge mistake.
The concern on the part of Tea Partiers that the government isn't listening to the interests and values of the majority is a very understandable and valid one that transcends party lines. Let's be honest with ourselves here: it has repeatedly been said in Washington that one should never see the ways laws and sausages are made. And yet that is EXACTLY what has been happening in Washington for decades now............and you don't have to subscribe to any particular party or ideology to agree with that.
And, amidst all this misuse of government power, many more Americans (including myself) are left scrambling trying to find even a part-time graveyard shift, while others are simply trying to get shoes on their children's feet and feed themselves while also enjoying the simple things. Regardless of which ideology you subscribe to, the system IS broken, the government IS not listening to the interests of blue-collar, hard-working Americans.
I happen to believe, if the Tea Party Movement is to be criticized for anything primarily, it's that they miss the mark when they seem to argue that the government ought to be gutted, rather than straightened out and reformed. I believe, historically, spending actually proved instrumental to solving unprecedented problems, rather than cutting spending repeatedly..............BUT..........I believe their feelings more than deserve to be validated, because the fact is Americans are growing more cynical than ever over the idea that Washington can be reformed so that special interests and bastions of pork holds it hostage and that regular hard-working Americans are much more appreciated.
And indeed, what better way is there to send the message than to build a social movement that is grassroots-driven and people-powered, just like the anti-war movement of the previous decade was?
I'll come right out and say that I wouldn't vote for individual candidates like Sharron Angle or Rand Paul if they were campaigning to represent my state in that I feel they spend too much time pointing out what's wrong with our government rather than discussing ideas on how to resolve the muddled state of Washington.............but that said, I do believe there is a little of that Tea Party sentiment in all of us, and if we just dismiss the movement with straw mans and blanket generalizations as many are doing at this time...............we are, in effect, dismissing ourselves and our own feelings.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"