Friday, July 23, 2010

Tea Party or Not Tea Party ?

In the aftermath of the Shirley Sherrod scandal, one would hope that "gotcha" journalism" will be a casualty. The Andrew Breitbart excerpt did not just present Sherrod in a bad light, it misrepresented her message entirely.

Similarly, the Tea Party has been wrongly represented as racist by many mainstream news outlets. Out of tens of thousands of Tea Party demonstrators, the racist fringe is portrayed as representing the mainstream. The overwhelming majority of Tea Party proponents abhor racism, distancing themselves and their movement from it.

The Democratic Party almost has a plantation mentality towards African Americans. "We gave you the vote, and enfranchised you. Now you must support the forces of "progress". The same mentality is applied to women. Clarence Thomas and Margaret Thatcher are respectively an African American and a woman who achieved high office. Unfortunately, they are not counted as victories for gender and racial equality.

There are some very important issues that are seized upon by the Tea Party movement supporters. Some of the issues are as follows.

1)Secure Borders. Defending our borders is a matter of national security.Terrorists as well as poor job seekers are attracted to porous borders. Additionally, unrestricted immigration floods the labour pool. Labour is a commodity like any other.

When there is a glut of any commodity, it depresses the price. Our essential character as a nation comes from immigration. Immigration is a gift that should be bestowed in an orderly manner by the government on behalf of the people of the United States.

Although there are numerous exceptions, Republicans who want immigration amnesty like the cheap labour. Democrats see the possibility of registering new Democratic voters.

2) Constitutional interpretation. We have a constitution that has gradually and painstakingly evolved to create statutory gender and racial equality. Some people are impatient for results in their struggle to create the ideal society. Legislating from the bench and ignoring the intent of the founding fathers is a slippery slope. A bad legal decision can come back to haunt the nation later. There is a bitter struggle for the direction of the nation in the nomination process for the Supreme Court. The right to bear arms is being interpreted out of existence by proponents of gun control. What other constitutional rights will be eviscerated through sophistry if we allow this to happen.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to consider foreign judicial precedents in deciding American constitutional law. Did American citizens vote on these laws that Ginsburg wants to consider in rendering legal decisions? Is this upholding our constitution?

3) Fiscal prudence. Any sensible person can figure out that printing money to cover debts will debase our currency. The best way to facilitate a financial recovery is by creating a climate in which recovery can occur. Back in 2008, the government could have declared a tax moratorium on investing in troubled industries. The government could have encouraged and facilitated private investment. Instead they created hundreds of billions of dollars of debt.

4) Minimal government. There is a place for government intervention. But it can have awful and unforeseen consequences. Rent control in New York City resulted in buildings being abandoned and gutted by owners who could not earn a any money from the buildings under restrictions on rent increases. The availability of food stamps is noted not only by needy families but by employers who view it as a payroll subsidy.

5) Educational choice. How fair is it to collect tax dollars for government schools and to dispense none of that money to private schools? Secular schools make moral value judgments as surely as do religious schools. America did not always ban tax dollars going to religious schools. This dubious legal doctrine came about as a result of the Blaine Amendment, which was an expression of nativist, anti Catholic bigotry. There are plenty of working class and minority families who want to send their children to private schools and face what is in effect a regressive tax on their religious freedom.

A focus on economic, social and cultural issues in American political discourse would probably result in a political alliance across racial lines. This would shake the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and an intellectual elite that fancies itself to be the arbiter of what is good for the unlettered masses. The Tea Party is a movement that holds both political parties to task. If it achieves any kind of victory, it will need critics to keep it on track. For the time being, they are outsiders who are offering penetrating social criticism. That's good enough for me. Sphere: Related Content

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