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October 19 • 11:27 PM
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Reader challenges editor’s view of the Tea Party movement


To the Editor:

I read with great interest Catherine Minolli's column in last week's edition. The email letter she printed cries out for a reply.

•It appears the writer likes informed political discussion so long it is a discussion among those who are of a like mind.

•From what platform did the writer discover that members of the Tea Party wish to "dismantle almost every government program?" My observation has been that the Tea Party wishes to modify or eliminate programs that either don't work, are unwise, or are in conflict with the very essence of the Constitution.

•I would be curious to know who or what makes up the "forces pulling their strings and fueling their movement." Perhaps, I along with many others, are just too obtuse to recognize that we are being controlled by an invisible hand from evil forces. Perhaps the writer is one of those persons who labors under the misconception that only he/she knows what is really going on and the rest of us just don't get it.

•Do all those who disagree with the agenda of Obama really call him derogatory names? I have been to several Tea Party rallies and have never seen or heard the President called a derogatory name unless one considers "liberal" or "Socialist" derogatory.

•Of course the members of the Tea Party quote the Bill of Rights. It is those rights that they believe are being infringed upon by the current administration and those who share the President's philosophy.

•I don't know that Tea Partiers think the government is a "vile entity." I think they may believe the government is too large, too intrusive with far too much power and when that occurs a diminution of rights is the natural consequence.

•The writer asserts those who express concern about the national debt fail to oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which also carried a huge cost. The argument is specious unless one takes the position that debts created by wars fully justifies massive deficit spending on domestic matters.

•What relevance is it that many families have not had a member serve in those two wars? But, if it makes my observations more accurate, I can proudly state that one of my sons did serve in the war in Iraq, being stationed in both Iraq and Kuwait.

•Of course people can disagree with policies of any particular administration. The writer is fully entitled to oppose the nation's involvement in either or both wars. I grant that and do not assume that the writer's strings are being pulled by unseen and unknown forces. It is myopic to not extend that same courtesy to those with whom the writer disagrees.

•What are the "real causes of our problems" that the writer refers to. The writer urges people to "focus on facts." The arrogance of that statement knows no bounds. It presumes that the Tea Partiers ignore facts and only the writer, and those like the writer, know the facts that need to be focused upon.

•Informed discussion of opposing points of view is good unless one side is of the mindset that only they are truly "informed" and then only capitulation to their point of view constitutes informed discussion.

—John L. Lengemann

Imlay City


November 10, 2010

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