To the Editor,
In his recent letter to the editor, Jerry Paschal described the Tea Party. The way I see it, his list gives us good reasons NOT to join the Tea movement:
No doubt the U.S.A. is a great nation. However, American exceptionalism is a good reason to avoid the Tea Party. It is arrogant to believe that we are better than others, or that we have nothing to learn from other nations.
Strict adherence to the Constitution is another reason to avoid the Tea Party. The Constitution was designed to be flexible enough to meet our needs. It’s a good framework , but it was meant from the beginning to be amended and interpreted for our common defense and general welfare. It is not a rigid, infallible fount of ideologies.
Its apparent connection with religion is another good reason to avoid the Tea Party. The First Amendment erects a wall of separation between Church and State. Our government is, and must remain, secular in order to protect our freedom of religion.
Its aversion to regulating weapons is another reason to avoid the Tea Party. Ours is among the most barbaric of Western countries when it comes to mass shootings. We desperately need stricter controls, but the Tea Party, by obstructing any reform, turns a blind eye to reality, and a cold heart to victims of gun violence.
Private property rights and individual freedom are good. So is the rule of law. To the extent that they would tear down common-sense regulations that protect us from harming one another, the Tea Party is to be avoided.
To the extent that they would reduce the government to the point they can drown it in a bathtub, the Tea Party is to be avoided. For good reasons, our founders gave us strong and vigorous governments. Anarchy is not a virtue.
Public education is a blessing. It’s a win-win for everyone. To the extent the Tea Party would undermine education, they are to be avoided.
To the extent that they obstruct immigration reform and engage in xenophobia, the Tea Party is to be avoided.
To the extent that they obstruct personal responsibility – to determine whom to marry, whether to use birth control, or choose to have an abortion – the Tea Party is to be avoided.
Mr. Paschal is correct about many Tea Partiers never having been “involved in politics their entire lives.” That’s the problem in the House of Representatives. The Tea Party does not know how to govern. Tea Party members are NOT true patriots. They are ideologues committed to obstructing good legislation, apparently intent on tearing down the government, and opposed to the rule of law. They give lip service to the Constitution, but their hearts are far from it.