Actress Janeane Garofalo said this on MSNBC about those who went to "tea parties" in April. It seems the media has favored labeling these people, who are also becoming known for their appearances at town hall meetings, with all sorts of titles: right-wing extremists, racists, and angry mobs. A DNC commercial says these people are organized by "desperate Republicans and their well funded allies... Their goal? Destroy President Obama and stop the change Americans voted for so overwhelmingly in November." The commercial continues, "This mob activity is straight from the playbook of high-level Republican political operatives. They have no plan for moving our country forward, so they've called out the mob."
CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen also called the tea parties "anti-government" and "not exactly family viewing".
This is what the media is telling you. But what's actually true? First of all, we should hear from some of the people who actually attended the tea parties and town hall meetings. What are their motives? Are they being supported by the Republican party, as the media would have you believe, in order to get back at the Democrats for winning the election? Are they all white racists who hate the president?
One conservative who attended the tea parties, Glenn Beck, said on his talk show on August 5:
"I don't know about you, but I don't have much time in my day to answer a call from the GOP, get up off my couch, leave my family for a day, to stand outside in the summer heat and rain pretending to be angry.
I really am angry!"Ask any of the protesters and you will find that they are not Republicans at war with the Democrats. Some of them are Democrats. Most of them are Independents. Many think the Republicans are just as bad, if not worse, than the Democrats. It is far from a party vs. party affair. Rather, this is a movement among the American people to stop the change in our government before we become less of a democracy, and more of a socialist nation.
The media often talks about the "violence" in town hall meetings and tea parties, but they don't have a single piece of evidence; a single story, or a second of footage, that shows any violence whatsoever. If they can produce one, (one that happened before I wrote this article would be preferable), I'll gladly stand corrected. But it seems they are only vaguely mentioning these "violent" occasions, in order to turn the public against whoever would disagree with the presently liberal government.
In fact, these peaceful gatherings are perfectly constitutional. The first amendment gives us the right to assemble in protest of the government: "Congress shall make no law... prohibiting... the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Was there any violence during the tea parties? No. What they did was completely American.
I like what former President Bush once said: "I get protested all the time. The great thing about the country is it's a place that's so free that people can protest. They can protest the president and did."
Others who were on the opposite end of the political spectrum seemed to agree. Hillary Clinton said, "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. And we should stand up and say we are America, that we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." Oh, really? What a double-standard. Now that the administration is liberal, anyone who "debates and disagrees" with it is considered the bad guy. Hillary Clinton was right; we should have the right to debate and disagree with any administration, republican or democrat, right or left. That's what America is all about.
Now, there have also been some claims that the protesters are racists who hate President Obama. All I can say to that argument is I know many people who, although may not have attended any tea parties, do agree with them. I've also seen them talk on TV. In fact, I consider myself one of those people. I haven't come across a single one that was racist. I think that is a very unfair name to call us. Come on, we were all glad to see a black man finally in the White House; even if we disagreed with his values. We only wished the first black president had been one with our believes, so we wouldn't be labeled "racists" just for disagreeing with him.
And besides, black people attended the tea parties too. This has nothing to do with political parties, or with race. This has to do with the government going out of control.
This is a picture of the San Antonio tea party on tax day. Fox News estimated that more than 5,000 protesters flocked to that city alone; thousands more gathered across the country.
Click HERE to see more pictures of the tea parties throughout America, and judge for yourself whether they look like angry mobs to you.
"Glenn Beck: Are You Part of the Ring-Wing Extremist Mob?" http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/28971/ (accessed 10 September, 2009)
"Glenn Beck: Hillary gaff" http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/29237/
(accessed 10 September, 2009)
"Triumphant Tea Parties" http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,516920,00.html (accessed 10 September, 2009)