April 14, 2010

On this day, in this place

On April 15th, 2010, Tea Party participants will gather in cities all across America to protest the lack of representation in Washington. While it is true we all have representatives there, for some reason the 111th Congress has found it more convenient to ignore us and has passed a series of legislations that favor only a small minority. Only 15% of Americans do not have health insurance, for example, and yet the new healthcare legislation is supposed to allow them to get insurance. If they decline this beneficence, it will fine them. This followed on the heels of a $787 billion "stimulus" package, which in turn followed on the heels of Pres. George Bush's "TARP" plan. None of these enjoyed any semblance of popular support and yet the elected officials sent to Washington to represent us passed all of these bills without hesitation. The only bill that gathered any real opposition among Congressional Representatives and Senators was the healthcare bill, so the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority leader bribed, cajoled, and coerced enough votes from the floor of their respective houses to pass it even though they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the majority of American people did not support their actions!

Our representatives have stopped representing us. Thus, the modern Tea Party arose from the ranks of housewives, factory workers, office workers, farmers, teachers, students, fast food workers, truck drivers, and countless others, all the people who work hard every day of their lives to make this country great. The representatives ridiculed and downplayed the importance of the Tea Party movement. Those people who were elected and sent to Washington as representatives used the most humiliating label in their vocabularies to refer to millions of ordinary Americans who had the courage to point out the representatives had failed their constituents. The representatives called the people who had elected them, "ignorant racists."

Here, today, we sit at a major crossroads in the history of our country. Not since 1860 has our country been so divided over issues concerning the present and the future. Half of the people in our country dream of a land governed by wise, benevolent elites who spend their days dispensing the wealth of an evil class of wealthy bankers and industrialists who have marginalized the working class. The other half of our country dreams of a land where every individual can themselves become rich through hard work, initiative, and luck. Both groups claim they are seeking freedom. Both groups claim they fear for the opportunities that will be available to their children and grandchildren. Both groups look to the opposition and refer to them in the most disparaging terms they know. No one is willing to consider the possibility of compromise or reconciliation. Everyone wants their enemy's blood. Some are willing to do anything to achieve their goals.

As I write this, the day's events have not begun. Rumors are floating of an orchestrated campaign to discredit the Tea Party movement once and for all by introducing deliberately racist slogans and by inciting violence through any means necessary. If the day's events do turn violent, it will be months before the investigations are complete and the facts are made plain. There is no guarantee anyone in the media will take the time to report the facts once they are known.

With luck, the day will go smoothly, there will be no violence, and anyone who attempts to interrupt the proceedings will be ignored. With luck, the future will look back on this period and laugh at our passionate fury.