You don’t know me

I was astounded to read an opinion piece by Frank Rich of the NY Times last week claiming that Tea Partiers are not really upset about the growth of the size and power of the federal government, or out of control and unsustainable spending. We are apparently really upset that a black man is president, a woman is speaker of the house and the openly gay Barney Frank holds a position of power. (You can read the outrageous claims for yourself here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html ).

Likewise I have heard those on the left opine that people who watch Glenn Beck must just agree with what they call “his doomsday hate speech”. It had me completely confounded. We are absolutely spending at a rate that will lead to economic disaster if drastic measures are not taken. Moody’s has warned that we are in danger of losing our AAA credit rating as a country. The CBO said last week that within 10 years our debt will equal 90% of GDP.

Nobody can deny that the process used to pass this health care bill was shady at best and unethical at worst. And even if you believe that health care is a right of all people in America and that it is our government’s job to ensure that “right” for all, where does that end? Will it be the government’s job to provide housing? Food? Clothing? Transportation? This is the model that has been widely accepted in Europe. However, this model runs counter to everything that this country was founded on: personal responsibility, limited government, and private charity.

For every suffering person in America without adequate food, shelter or medicine, there are private charities, generous individuals and businesses looking to help our neighbors and fellow countrymen. Private donations to Hatti from US business and individuals topped 1 billion within a matter of weeks. That is the strength of the United States of America and that is the spirit that you will kill if you try to run all people’s needs through the breadline of the federal government.

Giving not only blesses the recipient, it blesses the giver. How much blessing and sense of community do we get out of having the government stick their hands in our pockets and then redistribute to the less fortunate as they see fit?
On the other side, if a person receives assistance from the government, some will come to see it as their due and never pick themselves up and move forward the way they might after getting a helping hand from a neighbor, friend, colleague or private company.

The company that I work for does more philanthropic work then anywhere I have ever worked. That makes me proud to work there and my associates and I feel a sense of team and community when our company hosts drives to raise money for causes and charities. The government taking money from my paycheck and giving to similar needs lacks all those benefits of giving that inspire us to want to give more and do it again.

Add to that the fact that everything the government does the private sector does better, cheaper and more efficiently and I think you have a strong argument against growing the scope of government in people’s lives.

People are mad. Not because a black man is in the white house. I rarely think about the president’s race unless someone is accusing me of not liking him because he is black. I could care less that Pelosi is a woman or Barney Frank is gay – never even crosses my mind. I have enough to think about with trillions in new debt, bailouts of “too big to fail” car companies, banks, Fanny and Freddie, government run health care, privatization of student loans, government subsidized mortgages, and, well, I could go on and on.

So Mr Rich, smart guy NY Times writer extraordinaire, you don’t know me at all – not one little bit. I am hard working, and I want to keep what I work hard for and I choose to give to those in need and causes I believe in. I am deeply proud of my country, especially those men and women who put on the uniform of our country and lay their lives on the line for my freedom. I am involved in politics now as never before because I hope to be a mom someday soon and I want my children to have the exceptional America that I grew up in. But Mr Rich thinks I am protesting our government actions because I am a racist who fears losing the white man power structure in this country. I have decided that I don’t care what Frank Rich thinks. I am done defending myself and my fellow Tea Party patriots against ridiculous labels of racist, misogynistic red neck. The truth is on our side and more see it every day. Mr Rich’s argument holds no water, because he doesn’t know a thing about me.

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7 Responses to You don’t know me

  1. 4 things to take a look at (if you havent yet)- Great blog….1) Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged2) Amity Shlaes – The Forgotten Man3) Rod Serling – Twilight Zone Episode: "To Serve Man"4) Martin Miemoller – "First they came for…"

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I just finished "The 5000 Year Leap" and it was awesome. Should I go for "The Forgotten Man" next?

  3. MR says:

    Mr. Rich and his ilk are just so predictable in their methods. If they can't marginalize those in opposition to the Left, they will create a non-existant "demon" to stereotype them with.Furthermore, incendiary op-ed pices like this are the only thing keeping that sad rag afloat.

  4. John White says:

    Jaime, as someone who leans left on social issues, the reason I wonder about the tea-party activism is that the country's been doing massive deficit spending for the last 10 years, but there wasn't a tea-party surge in outrage against it until the Obama Presidency. The government created a massive wire-tapping program in violation of existing law, but there wasn't a tea-party outcry about government intrusiveness into personal lives.I know that correlation and causation aren't the same thing. But it would help me understand the movement a lot better if it could explain how these seemingly conflicting positions (silence towards one administration, outrage towards another) is value-consistent. I don't think any of these things need to imply racism, sexism, or homophobia. Just partisanship.

  5. Hi John,You are right that a lot of people didn't throw enough of a fuss about the out of control spending in the Bush years – myself included. I am sure that partisanship might play a role in that because we tend to scrutinize the other party more when they are in office or have a tendency to be more apologetic towards those on "our side". But there are 2 other big reasons as well: 1. Deficit spending and debt has increased substantially under this president and administration even beyond what happened in the Bush terms. 2. The spending is only part of what people are concerned about. They are also very concerned about the growth in the size, scope and power of the federal government in our lives. That added to the spending has people awake and concerned in a way that we never have been before.Now you may also notice that many Tea Partiers are very disillusioned with the Republican party as well for abandoning conservative principles and joining the Washington money train. So I will no longer vote for someone just because they have an (R) next to their name. I need to really believe that they have deep conservative values and principles on spending and reducing the size of the federal government and that once in office they won’t become another earmarking, pork-loving, special interest kowtowing politician. There are big government progressives on both sides of the isle.

  6. John White says:

    Jaimie, thanks for honestly discussing what's going on. As for your second point, I understand that big government is a concern. But my same question applies. Where was the outrage at warrentless wiretapping? At suspending habeus corpus? At rendition? At torture? At Guantanamo? These are concrete examples of the Executive branch of the government claiming power that isn't granted to it (and in some cases, expressly forbidden in the case of habeus corpus and torture). There wasn't any outrage, and there STILL isn't.The next thing I'd point out is the difference between having a civil disagreement about ideology or values and having that same disagreement in a strident manner which involves accusations and extreme projections of the opposing viewpoint.I mean you don't want to be characterized as racist, sexist, or homophobic, which I think makes sense. Yet, you don't have any problem accusing broad swaths of people as genuinely wanting "more federal government control of our lives."

  7. It's okay to judge people on their actions and their words. If someone makes the argument that the federal government should regulate / run / control something that is not in thier power as dictated by the constitution, then I feel comfortable in saying that they want a larger role for the federal government and / or more govt. control of people's lives. They might have the best intentions for doing this, but that doesn't make it right. If the federal government decided to outlaw Crispey Creme donuts because they are very bad for you, that would be a good intention, but a wild over stepping of their bounds. That's how many feel about the new health care law, good intentions, bad, unconstitutional execution.I don't have a problem with enhanced interogation, that's not torture in my opinion. I think Gitmo should remain open. It is the perfect place for its purpose.As to the Patriot Act, I have a problem with some parts of it. I want a balance between our governments ability to keep us safe and giving the govt too much power. Because powers granted for good intentions can even later be used for tyranny. I know that there are people who have access to information on threats that I know nothing about and I want to trust our government to protect us, that is their primary job. But again, too much unchecked power can lead to consequences that we can't even imagine today.Again I say that the spped that we are moving towards a larger, more powerful federal government now has woken me up. Not that there weren't things worth speaking up on before, but now I get the big picture in a way that I did not before. I must admit that mayself, and I suspect many others, remained asleap or unmotivated until we saw how the intrusion of government would affect our own lives and liberties in a clear way.I want the right as an individual to make my own good and bad decisions and pay the consequences or reap the rewards.

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