Some Information Crumpets To Go With Your Tea

Dear Tea Partiers:


As you prepare yourselves to exercise your Constitutionally-protected rights of assembly and speech, you might want to do a little fact-checking.  I’ve heard the things you say and read your poster-boards.  Forgive me for being blunt, but you get a lot of things wrong.  In the interest of improved discourse among all citizens, I thought I’d lend you a hand.


  • The post office isn’t a good example of a government takeover.  Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution specifically states that “Congress shall have Power … To establish Post Offices”.


  • Chrysler and GM were very different bankruptcies.  It’s true that we citizens now own a big chunk of GM stock (and, personally, I’m not sure I’m down with that either).  But with Chrysler, all you did was provide the financing the company needed to effectuate the company’s sale in bankruptcy.  President Hoover had a similar plan, but his wasn’t focused on just one company.  Instead, he created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation “to give renewed support to business, industry, and agriculture.”


  • President Obama can’t be both a fascist and a socialist.  The public option proposed by Obama in reforming heath care is more properly put in the socialism column, just as it is in places like Canada and Sweden.  Your own stated desire that health care should remain within the control of private corporations is more aligned with fascist ideology.  To better understand this, Mussolini is a much better source of study than is Hitler.  (I’ll leave for another day the fact that you look like racists when you show up with swastikas.  The only people who’ve used that here since World War II are white supremacist groups.)


  • Similarly, if you fear a loss of liberty, you can’t keep excusing what happened under the prior administration.  Usurpation of power is not a partisan affair and if we treat it as such (as did Obama supporters who defended his proposal of preemptive arrest and detention), then all of us are at risk. 


  • Saying that the government can’t do anything right is a lot less effective as a rallying cry than you seem to realize. For one thing, it’s hyperbole in the extreme.  Just a few weeks ago, for example, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.  Maybe you disagree, but most of us think that was pretty cool and, you’ll recall, it was a major symbolic victory over the Soviets.  Of course no one supports waste and incompetence, but if you take a step back you’ll see that there are areas where the government does a pretty good job.  More important, though, is the fact that you are responsible for the quality of what the government does.  If you keep voting for people who are hostile to government, you’re just reaping what you’ve sown.


  • The anger and violent rhetoric you’ve been displaying betrays your claims of adherence to the Constitution.  Mob rule isn’t what the framers had in mind.


In closing I will ask you to consider something that probably hasn’t occurred to you:  Some of your frustration is shared by your fellow citizens on the left, but there are powerful, vested interests who want to make sure you don’t know that.  A lot of us hate the bank bailouts as much as you do.  A lot of us think that politicians and the media in Washington are hopelessly out of touch with what’s happening outside the beltway and more interested in preserving their own power than in doing anything that’s good for us.


Most important, you need to know that we aren’t anything like the caricature of liberals that the Becks, Coulters, Hannitys and Limbaughs have been peddling.  We’re living in a time of classic divide and conquer and, I’m sorry to say it, you’re being played.