Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saturday's "Tea Party" Rally
Posted by Nate
I just watched this video. Let me just say that I realize and appreciate that not everyone who came to the DC rally on Saturday is comparable intellectually to the people portrayed in this video. I also realize that there are many ineloquent, uninformed people who espouse liberal values and opinions and they can be, and often are, embarrassed on camera in the same way.
However, I am also a resident of DC and passed by many of the protesters on the day before and the day of the rally, and I had the opportunity to overhear quite a few conversations. My own small sample reflected the same statistics of those who were shot in this video. In other words, the people who actually showed up for this rally were, in large part, uneducated, uninformed people who watch Glenn Beck, feed off each other's anger, and don't seek to understand the intricacies—or even the realities—of the issues that they so passionately speak out on.
Should these people lack the right to protest or be heard? Of course not. The First Amendment is one of the greatest things about this country, and the fact that these people have such a loud voice is a testament to its strength. However, I will argue that these people should not be able to influence policy the way they seem to be right now.
I am not saying that uneducated people are less important than educated people. In fact, it is my hope that they or their children will get the same kind of education that all Americans should be entitled to as a fundamental right (though that might require the government to play a role...). I am saying, though, that we are a republic for a reason. We elect representatives to represent the people, and for the most part, those representatives are intelligent and well-informed. And they have intelligent, well-informed staffs who assist them in crafting policies and voting on complex and intricate pieces of legislation. When uninformed people raise racist, belligerent, hateful signs and get great press coverage and the praise of some of our most powerful leaders, a disservice is being done to the truth and to reality.
Sure, there are a lot of liberals at health care rallies around the country who don't really understand the details of any of the health care proposals in Congress right now. But their main goal in supporting the change is to provide health care to those who don't have it, and give people more options in receiving care. What are the teabaggers' main goals, when you really get down to the crux of their anger? To not be taxed so much? Because I'm pretty sure our country isn't actually at risk of turning fascist-socialist. Incidentally, I invite members of the "Tea Party" to explain to me how that would work.
P.S. My favorite sign is the one that says "More Czars than the USSR." I guess this is what happens to people when they get pulled out of school so the President can't indoctrinate them with his socialist back-to-school speech.
Images: Protesters at Saturday's rally (Fox News)