The Tea Party movement is, to say the least, unusual. Historically, it hasn’t been conservatives standing on the soapbox in the town square to defend the principals of limited government, personal freedom, the right of the individual to determine where and how much to give to charity, individual responsibility, rejection of collecitve guilt, and the lower taxes that are a result of these things. This is because in the past, those were things thatt went without saying.
The Tea Party has brought a lot of people into politics who've never been active before because we’re now at a point where a lot of us feel that these fundamental principals are under systematic assault. We've gathered peacefully and respectfully to make this case, as is our right. What response do we get? First they try to ignore us, and when that didn’t work, they tried to paint us as a lunatic fringe. When our numbers continued to grow they tried calling us racists, then DANGEROUS racists. They fabricated stories of racial epithets hurled at congressmen. They sent union goons to beat us up. Now they’re calling us murderers because of the actions of a deranged leftist. Now they want to outlaw the “discussion”. In short, they've done everything except present a compelling counter-argument, as one would expect of people concerned about a "civil discourse".
Over the last week, since the tragedy in Tuscon, there have been calls to "tone down the rhetoric". The fact that this occurs weeks after the left has seen the results of ignoring the Tea Party movement is, I'm sure, strictly coincidental. Well, here's my response to these requests:
I’ll consider toning down the rhetoric when I see the other side stop acting like they’re tone *deaf*. I’ll believe they want a civil discourse when they stop trying to shut down all discourse and answer our legitimate concerns. I will stop calling them socialist thugs when they stop sending union thugs to break up our demonstrations. I'll stop calling them tyrants when they stop trying to outlaw criticism of thier politices and leaders.
And until that day comes, they can have my free speech rights when they pry then from my cold, dead fingers.