Monday, July 07, 2014

An Open Letter to the Tea Party People

Dear Tea Party Person,

I haven’t a clue as to who you are nor what you are like.   Everything I know about you people comes to me second or third hand.  The few tea partiers I do know, I go out of my way to avoid.  Besides having little in common, I see you as racist, angry and hateful, narrow minded, xenophobic and, quite possibly, mentally or emotionally ill.   But how did you come to be like that?  Better yet, how is it that I have come to see you as I do?  Might we both be influenced by xenophobia and similar mental health and emotional issues?

But like I already said, what little I do know of you may be flawed.  Mostly, I know you by clips I see on television news and it’s usually of very angry people saying very ugly things about our president or, crowds of people wearing costumes from the 1700s, who insist on taking “our country back” from the rest of us.

And your politicians are just as ugly as the bullies in Murrieta, California, verbally abusing a few busses full of women and children.  Your Tea Party Conservatives vote for less regulation on Wall Street and are in favor of decreasing government’s ability to protect the environment.  And while you call yourselves “freedom loving,” you elect people who want to take away other people’s right to vote.  So, when you call yourselves freedom loving, does that extend to the “others?”  People who, for instance, might be less like you and more like me?  What about a woman’s right to determine how she lives her life?  Should gays and lesbians have the same freedoms as everyone else?  Does religious freedom give corporations the right to come between doctors and patients when it comes to determining what kind of medication and procedures their employees are allowed to access?

Yet, even when the hate and venom spews from the mouths of those elected officials and religious leaders, it’s hard to believe that you and I can be so different and intolerant.  And while I consider myself open minded, I am as guilty of avoiding and stereotyping you as much as you are of avoiding and stereotyping me.

On the other hand, I believe that we probably agree on more than a few things.  For starts, neither of us trusts Wall Street and big banking and we’re also suspicious of big corporations.   But your Tea Party politicians want to deregulate both banks and Wall Street.   Worse yet, they are fine with corporations being people and have no problems with the ruination of our environment in search of energy and profit.  How is it that you continue to elect people who want to lower taxes for the top one percent at your expense?  They pay less, while we pay more and you continue to vote for them, and against your own best interest.  Makes no sense to me.

So, how about we plan a picnic in the park next weekend.  It might be fun.  We could exchange iPods and listen to each other’s music.  Bring burgers, hotdogs and potato salad.  Bring the kids and board games.  If near a lake, bring swimming stuff.  Maybe we can even have a conversation, ask and answer a few questions.  It could be informative!  It could be fun!

A picnic in the park.  Let’s make it a plan.  But whatever we decide, please leave your guns at home.



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