By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press
In taking a close look at myself, as a fair representation of the tea party movement, I find myself a bit annoyed, yet, more amused than anything else.
In reading Lauren Ritchie's recent commentary in the Orlando Sentinel titled 'Tea Party Should Look Closely - At Itself', I didn't need to read beyond the very first sentence to see that this was not going to be an objective offering.
Creepy, huh? What's really creepy is how an supposedly intelligent woman can stand in a room of 1,200 people fully confident that she knows what each and every person present thinks and be so wrong!
Which makes me wonder, has Ms. Ritchie ever actually met a tea party member, spent time with them and honestly tried to understand what motivates them. Based on her erroneous views, it seems apparent that she has not. Nor do I suspect that she cares to.
What those on the left haven't quite grasped yet is that the tea party movement, after nearly two years of be attacked in every despicable manner possible from those in the media all the way up to the President of the United States, no longer allows the arbiter's of hate to stand in the way of securing a better future for this country. You could say we've become immune to the hypocrisy of the left.
A duplicity best represented by President Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, recently hosting a lavish state dinner honoring China's Hu Jintao, who imprisons the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo, as was so aptly pointed out by More Liberty, Less Government's George Noga.
Nonetheless, Ritchie proceeds to describe those in attendance last Monday as being hard working folks who've paid into a system for years who've become overridden with anxiety because we are no longer at the top of the receiving list as government doles out the cash like a benevolent uncle, or that our dear uncle may run out of cash before we get out turn. Hence, that we're in for what's in it for us.
That observation alone shows that the left still doesn't get it and probably never will. This mentality of citizens willingly lining up at the government trough was frequently on display by Progressive poster child Alan Grayson, who often talked about "getting our share" as he worked overtime to milk the system through countless earmarks, national debt be damned.
I would venture to say that you could not find more than a handful of people in that room that gives two hoots about their personal well being in so far as the tea party movement is concerned. Many, if not most have sacrificed significant time and treasure to provide for a better tomorrow in America, knowing all the while that they will not be around to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Spending their personal wealth to hold rallies, candidate forums and educational events, many of these folks are less well off today than they were two years ago when the tea party first exploded on the scene. And they'd have it no other way as the real motivation is to protect the legacy of this generation not being the first ever in the history of this nation to leave the next generation, our children and grandchildren, worse off than we are.
And how is it that anyone can find fault in honoring God, our country and those who put the most on the line preserving it? Seriously?
To condemn the gathering because it recognizes and respects the service of our veterans or because 'God Bless America' is performed only personifies the left's disdain for America and reinforces their belief that this country is, at it's core, a bad place. The left understands that in order to be successful in it's overriding desire to 'transform' America into something other than what our Founding Fathers intended or that our Constitution provides for, we must move past the very principles and sacraments that define this great nation.
As for God and his role in national affairs, this is a topic that can be debated for hours. What I will say is that America did not become the greatest beacon for freedom in the history of humankind, nor did it become the most prosperous country the world has ever seen without the blessing of Providence. A believe held firmly by those who forged this new land out of the wilderness.
Yet, I've not met one person in the tea party movement that does not understand a relationship with God is a personal relationship that exists between that individual and God, nor have I met one that requires such a relationship to be a part of the movement.
All in all, Ms. Ritchie went into this exercise with a preconceived notion of what the tea party is or is not, most likely shaped by what she's heard and seen in the media. The article seems to have less to do with Gov. Scott's budget than it does with further tagging the tea party movement as a negative influence in the shaping of tomorrow. Ironically, by the very individuals who are now celebrating the "peoples" victory in Egypt.
What is indisputable is that the tea party has changed the face of politics in America, as was evident in the historic results this past November. It's also clear that the tea party stands as a formidable obstacle to the progressive utopia that the left has worked so hard for and it's understandable that they must try to minimize it.
As for a group of Americans that don't have "two thimbles full of independent thought", as Ms. Ritchie points out, I have to say, as I look back over the past two years, "Not bad, not bad at all".