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9/12 Tea Party in Phoenix Degenerated to Republican Pep Rally

September 14, 2009 - 12:41am
Nick Coons by Nick Coons


On Saturday, I attended a 9/12 Tea ("Taxed Enough Already") Party event and participated on a town hall panel with five Republican politicians. The movement started with an idea from the Libertarian Party of Illinois, but has since been hijacked by Republicans, turning it into a Republican Party pep rally.

While it's good to see people involved, I was sorely disappointed with the events that took place on Saturday in Phoenix.  The Tea Party focus is on government spending, but people attend with all sorts of signs completely unrelated, such as signs opposing abortion.  Drawn out presentations are given as to why the words "under God" should appear in the Pledge of Allegiance.  And the speakers with the most positive feedback are those who say nothing at all, but do it very passionately.

During the town hall panel, a parent convinced her young child to approach the stage and ask a question about the panelists' views on abortion.  My Republican counterparts all pronounced their views as pro-life.  I was the lone one on the stage, claiming a view of pro-choice during early terms in the pregnancy.  This quickly made me very unpopular with the audience.  While I didn't expect a favorable response, I also didn't expect members of the audience to heckle me and scream things like "murderer" for voicing a different opinion.

For the rest of the day, I seriously questioned the future of America; that is, whether or not it has one.  I had always hoped that the majority of people were reasonable, that those with differing views could sit down and have a discussion of beliefs in good faith.  I tell myself that abortion is an emotional issue, that these events are attended by the extremist of the extreme right-wing who respond to key words like Pavlov's dog, and that they are not representative of the average American.  I hope I'm not kidding myself.  If reason and rationality cannot triumph over knee-jerk whim, then we have nothing positive to look forward to.

Related Content:

Have We Learned Nothing? - Kimberly Ruff
Growth of taxes and related policies - Richard Sutton
The Libertarian Problem - Austin Raynor

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