Last week I attended two rallies of the Tea Party movement just to see if the descriptions I have been hearing on network news and reading in the New York Times are accurate. On both occasions the group was very large, respectful and I did not observe racist signs or commentaries, vigilante advocacy or disrespect for opposing views. What I did see were common, everyday American folk expressing dissatisfaction with the leadership of the country, be it Democrat or Republican, and direction that they are taking this nation.
Yet as I read the newspapers, listen to liberal Democratic politicians or the President I hear a condescending and arrogant view of those who are simply peacefully assembling to redress grievances. The President's dismissal of those in the Tea Party as misguided persons who should be thanking him for what he has done is evidence of his belief that the average citizen is just too ill informed, or lacks the capacity, to understand that only he, and others of the ruling elite, know what is best for this country.
It seems to me that there is a conscious effort to marginalize those in the Tea Party by liberal politicians and their media compatriots. I believe this is because they see the Tea Party as a threat to their vision of turning this nation into a European style socialist democracy with nearly confiscatory taxation, government control of private industry and redistribution of wealth from the producers to the parasitic members of society. The floating of the trial balloon of a "Value Added Tax" is just another step along this path. Already we have seen the government takeover of much of the auto industry, health care and the investment industry with the pending proposal to take over the banking industry and control of the Great Lakes and all waters that connect thereto.
There is just not any portion of our lives that President Obama and the Democrats think is better left to the citizens to control. They are believers in the doctrine that the government (when comprised of Democrats and like thinking bureaucrats) knows best and that citizens are just too obtuse to be able to govern their own lives.
So here we have it. Competing visions of what kind of a nation we wish to be. On the one hand the view that limited government, balanced budgets, limited taxation, strong national defense and a jealous guarding of individual rights is the correct course. On the other an all encompassing government controlling all phases of life with resulting dependency, deficits as far as the eye can see, ever increasing taxation, a dismissal of American exceptionalism in favor of a "one world" outlook and the view that citizen's rights are subject to government modification. A discussion of the differing views would be welcome and beneficial. Dismissive rhetoric, charges of racism and condescension by those enamored with European socialism preclude any meaningful dialogue.
—Celery City Charlie
Editor's note: 'Celery City Charlie' is a longtime resident of Imlay City who throughout the past 20-plus years has occasionally written opinion pieces for the Tri-City Times. His name is withheld upon request.