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In Defense of the TEA Party – Part 2

Black Tea Party Members
One of the most recent fights in which the TEA Party has engaged is the nationwide enforcement of new federal education curriculum standards called Common Core. 

A study of the curriculum found that it is wanting in the history of the founding ideals of America and promotes a negative view of free enterprise. But Common Core contains a strong focus on diversity, social justice and Globalism. There is very little actual academic instruction in Common Core. Some critics describe it as being more about creating a cadre of social activists than an educated society. When TEA Party activists begin studying the curriculum and asking questions of school administrators, they are dismissed as Far Right lunatic fringe nuts. 

It is true that many activists in the TEA Party not only believe that the Constitution is the law of the land, but are also devout Christians. (see this report in Christian Post for interesting data on this)

As such, they are very concerned by government actions to ban or shut down Christian activities. It started years ago with the banning of Christmas decorations or Manger scenes on public property. Many ministers are afraid to speak out about current events from the pulpit for fear of retribution from the government. Yet, there is a drive to teach Islam in the public schools, where children are actually given assignments on the subject. There seem to be few restrictions on that religion in public life.  Naturally, the TEA Party thinks that is wrong and cries foul over the unbalanced situation. The charge against the TEA Party is Intolerance!

And then there is Obamacare. Says Nancy Pelosi and other supporters of this monster, there are millions of uninsured people in this nation and we need to fix that. Their solution is to force most of those millions to buy government- sanctioned insurance at exorbitant rates. 

Of course, the reason many of those people are uninsured in the first place is because they can’t afford it. Now, under Obamacare, they must buy it or pay a fine – even though to do so means no food on the table, or perhaps outright bankruptcy. When you are a "compassionate" liberal on a mission, facts don’t matter. Companies that have decided not to hire new people, or only add part time people, because of the outrageous costs, are attacked as heartless. 

Of course, the Obama Administration changes the rules daily as they exempt labor unions, Congress itself, and certain companies who perhaps just happened to have donated to his campaign. The entire nation is in turmoil over this law that not a single member of Congress read before voting on it (because no printed copy existed). No wonder the TEA Party and about 70% of the rest of the nation oppose it. Yet, for that opposition, again the TEA Party faces the charge of RASCISM.

These are some of the issues that the TEA Party sees as problems in America. They focus on fairness, fiscal responsibility and fears of government overreach. Yet the attacks against the TEA Party are that it is a fanatical fringe element of the Republican Party. 

Why? 

Are Americans no longer allowed to speak out on issues? Is political debate to be outlawed? Are we just expected to shut up and take whatever certain elements of our society deem proper?

In the Congressional folly just witnessed by the nation over the government shutdown and debt limit, the establishment news media vilified the TEA Party as the root of the problem. 

Senator Ted Cruz, who took the lead in trying to stop funding, and thereby enforcement, of Obamacare had very little backing from his own party. He was charged by the news media of trying to force a shutdown and thereby a default of the U.S. Government. The media referred to Cruz and other members of Congress who opposed Obamacare as a “TEA Party” fringe of the Republican Party.   

It’s interesting to note that as the news media announces the latest polls showing the drop in popularity of the Republicans or the President over the shutdown debacle, they are also detailing polls showing that after the battle Americans identify in equal numbers with President Obama and the TEA Party (42% identify with Obama and 42% identify with the views of “the average TEA Party member”). 

Apparently, even as the news media wants to bury the TEA Party, obviously what it says matters.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with all of the issues or positions of the TEA Party, it is the one movement today that is protecting the right of opposition and freedom of speech for every American. They have been attacked, called lunatic fringe, racist, and just plain nuts, simply because they believe they have a right, as Americans, to speak out against policies enforced on them by an out of control government. And they don’t buckle in the face of overwhelming opposition  – because to do otherwise means the end of freedom. That is the TEA Party.

Read Part One of "In Defense of the Tea Party" here.

To learn more about Tom DeWeese and the work of the American Policy Center click here.

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