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Tea Party’s War on the Middle Class

Alex Constantine - May 29, 2010

Letter to Shore News Today (South Jersey) | May 25, 2010

tea party health care rally cnn 640x360 - Tea Party’s War on the Middle ClassTo the editor:

While not completely homogeneous, the Tea Party generally speaks with a common voice. It is clearly anti-Obama, anti-government, and anti-reform.

Its leaders did not try to mute, but rather amplified the absurd Hitler and communist comparisons. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, who have been beating a political drum to the music of money, played on the Hitler and communist themes including repetition of the term “death panels” in reference to the health care debate.

This led to near riots at town halls across the country and death threats to Democratic congressmen, senators and spokespeople. Apparently protecting the American oligarchy of war chests, yachts, and tax shelters against health care is on the same level of Polish oppression under communism.

Tea Party supporters often claim that because both parties receive corporate contributions, neither party is representing “the little people.” This is an example of false reasoning.

Although some corporations do hedge their bets by contributing to both parties during elections, this is not comparable to the health insurance lobby’s attempts to purchase the spread of misinformation through the Tea Party movement about the existing state of health care and consequences of health care reform.

Further, a Princeton researcher recently determined through an extensive data analysis that while Democrats only marginally improved the gap between the wealthy and the poor, Republicans have substantially widened it. One only has to ask which side has fought for decades against attempts at fair wages, social improvement programs, corporate responsibility, and universal health care to see that “little people” are not exactly faced with a coin flip.

It is often claimed that regulatory agency scandals warrant such agency dissolution. While the SEC pornography scandal, for example, grants Tea Party and “free market” types a “gotcha” moment, it does not absolve the caravan of corporate and Wall Street corruption resulting from the “trickle down” policies of Ronald Reagan.

Labor rights, environmental laws, and consumer safety reform proposals have always been fought by groups with agendas like those of the Tea Party. The war that Republicans, conservatives, and now the Tea Party have waged against the middle class and the poor cannot be denied.

While cries of federal responsibility for foreclosures were loud, it had to be pointed out that about two-thirds of all foreclosures are due to exorbitant medical bills.

Drawing spurious connections between events and repeating the same worn-out arguments does not constitute “fact.” In fact, it would be difficult to find a group that rests its foundation on arbitrary and questionable beliefs, and not facts, more than the Tea Party does.

They disparage science and the press in favor of talk radio, polls, and think tanks with American sounding names. Tea Party arguments consist of demonizing opposing views and misconstruing concepts of freedom, faith and family to advance their agenda upon an under-informed and over marketed American public.

The Founding Fathers must be laughing at them.

Jeff Lehman


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