Friday, April 16, 2010

Is the Tea Party racist and homophobic?

There are a number of left wing bloggers who would like their readers to believe that the Tea Party is racist and homophobic. They will cite as evidence polls such as the recent NY Times/CBS poll, link, that reveal inordinately low minority membership.

Is it fair to then conclude the Tea Party itself is racist?

I would say it is bad science. It is the same kind of science that concludes that because nearly all heroin addicts once drank mother's milk, that drinking mother's milk leads to heroin abuse.

Are there real reasons that minorities are under-represented? Of course there are, and I look forward to some real science that reveals what those reasons are. In the meantime, it is reasonable to look at what the Tea Party says it is about, and not to what non-members say it is about, or what a relatively few members of a rally somewhere say it is about.

Policy statements are the true window to the soul of an organization. When people sit around and deliberately decide what they are about; then, and only then, is it fair to hold the organization accountable for endorsing the principle.

Consider for example; the Republican Party of New Mexico sat around one day, at their pre-primary convention, and decided, deliberately, to continue to disrespect gay people by denying their human condition protection under their equal rights plank of the Party platform. It is fair to conclude then, based on that deliberate decision, that the NMRP is homophobic.

Now, because I am a member of that Party, does that make me homophobic? No, it does not, though, there are left wingers who would try to build that argument. Does it make all Republican candidates for office homophobic? No it does not, though again, there are left wingers who would try to make that argument.

All of this boils down to skirting specific philosophical arguments by drawing easier to understand and argue generalizations, and prejudices.

It lowers the level of the discourse to uselessness. Worse even; it lowers it to worse than useless.


Anonymous said...

Some of the Tea Partiers Thursday pm on Menaul had hateful signs, license plates, stickers that were using words like "fag", etc....
Many them were also waving and displaying altered US flags (no stars, stripes only, logos on top of flag, etc...).
Though I respect their right to protest, some of these things were distasteful and disrespectful to the country, some groups and individuals.
More damaging, they had messages that are basically distancing themselves from basic Republican philosophy, and this leads to further dissolution of the Republican party, empowering Democrats even more.
In conclusion, there were a lot (a lot!) of bitchy and whiny messages, but no messages of solutions. No positive message of hope or support for anyone or anything.
All in all, I thought it was a distasteful, in your face, display here in ABQ.

ched macquigg said...

Odd, I was also at the rally and didn't see a single poster like the ones you described. I didn't see even a single person behaving in a manner that was unseemly.

The Tea Party had block captains watching over the whole thing. I am wondering if you were actually there, or whether you are listening to someone else's false claims.

Anonymous said...

Ched, I was there. People were not conducting themselves wrongly. They were waving flags, honking, shouting ok things like "USA!". IT was the signs on some of the vehicles and the altered flags and hand drawn posters that I felt were distasteful.
So yes, I agree, the people themselves were behaving fine, but the ahteful messages in print that I read as I went by offered no positive message, no solution, but were often filled with hate messages against "Fags", Obama, "socialists", etc....
To be fair, the hate messages were the first I saw. MAybe after that I was feeling the negativity that all I saw were the hate messages... and maybe they overshadowed good messages in my mind and memory? It's possible.
But yes, I was there, driving from Eubank to Louisiana on Menaul, about 4:45.
I do understand some of their points, I agree with some of what they are protesting. I just hate to see Americans hating on other Americans en masses... whether it be Democrats or Republicans, or whatever.
I hope my response makes sense... I'm not the best writer in the world.
All in all... I am proud to be in a country where they can protest (whether I agree with the message or not), and in my own way, I am proud of many of them that care enough to come out of their day-to-day to do what they think will better this country (whether I agree with it or not).
PErhaps it haunts me, as an Americsan, that we have got this deep into a mess as we have, where people are feeling such stress, no matter what side they are on.

ched macquigg said...

I agree; I am proud to live in a country where where speech is free.

I am, and have long been, disturbed when the conduct of a few is applied to the many, and in particular to a Party of any stripe.

We need to judge Parties on their deliberate statements and people on their individual behavior.

I can't help but believe the level of the whole discourse would be raised if we agreed to discuss the issues without using Party names, and the individuals on their individual records rather than their party affiliation.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by to read and write. It is people like you that make the effort of blogging worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ched!
I agree with your stated philosophy 110%

ched macquigg said...

and thank you.