By Tom Tillison
Earlier this week, while most tea party groups were in Tallahassee ushering in Florida's 2011 Legislative Session, unions and the far left gathered around the state in various cities and towns to protest the coming budgetary cuts from the state Legislature.
In some of these locations, tea party members were also present in smaller numbers in an attempt to counter the message being delivered. In many cases, the scene was downright "ugly", as one tea party member put it. In her own words, describing the opposition, she said, "these people are angry and looking for a fight".
After two years of existence, the tea party is well accustomed to the hyped up rhetoric and false claims of violence and extremism. These charges have been leveled by the media, liberal pundits and even the leadership of the Democratic Party, up to and including the President of the United States. It's important to acknowledge that, as much as the left wants the tea party to be what it is accused of being, there is still no real evidence, two years later, to support these claims.
But, at the end of the day, does that matter? Or, does perception eventually become reality? Speak to the average person and you will find that many of the baseless charges against the tea party have in fact come to define this great awakening in America.
This week, in Wisconsin, after 19 days of waiting for the return of the Democratic lawmakers that fled the state and refused to participate in the democratic process, the Republicans in that state found a way to pass needed legislation to move forward in addressing their budget shortfall.
The response by the left? They put out a call to action and stormed the state Capitol, breaking windows and trying to rip doors off the hinges in the process. And as law enforcement tried to maintain order and control entry to the building, Democrats inside the building opened windows, allowing the protestors to swarm inside.
Not only were these protestors placing all involved in imminent danger by doing the unthinkable, such as using handcuffs to lock off doorways, they were actually assaulting police officers. Aided and abetted all along by members of the Democratic Party who openly encouraged the behavior!
And we continue to be fed the now standard propaganda from the left about protecting workers rights, fighting for the middle class and standing up for the democratic process that the media is only too happy to advance. Of course, it's the typical double standard from the left of those who walked out on the democratic process claiming to be standing up for it!
And how is this all being presented to the American people through the media? The protestors, many of them paid agitators, are being passed off as American jihadists who are valiantly trying to protect their families from the tyrannical Republican Party. Never mind that the majority of these protestors, at least those who are there legitimately, enjoy wages and benefits that far exceed the private sector.
Back to Florida, while witnessing the aggressive behavior of the left, which included threats of violence and outright intimidation, standard tools of the trade for many unions under the AFL-CIO banner, a tea party member made the observation that she did not see how the tea party could stand up to this behavior. And she may be correct.
What the Progressive Left, who now totally dominate the Democratic Party, have come to realize is that they now have the issue needed to effectively take back the narrative from the tea party. They've found their tea party moment.
However, it's critically important to understand that there are two separate agendas being played out here simultaneously. Preying on the all too common human emotion of greed, those who are actively trying to "fundamentally transform America" are effectively using many good and decent people to advance a far left ideology, unbeknownst to those who are being used.
Most rank and file union members are fighting for what they believe to be hard earned benefits that secure a better future for their families, even though many of these same individuals will acknowledge in a quiet moment that they are far better off than the average private sector worker.
The Progressive Left are looking to move America away from the free market principles that have always defined this country. These individuals are Marxists and revolutionaries in every sense of the word. They hate this country in it's current form, finding serious fault in all that America represents. Their goal is to create a socialist society where the government ensures the well being of every citizen - from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
And, as we've come to learn, there are no rules in this quest. The ends justifies the means, with truth being the first casualty. The propaganda coming from the left today would leave Joseph Goebbels green with envy.
All the while, the hypocrisy of the far left knows no bounds. Those who bemoaned the "uncivil discourse" on the right, including Barack Obama himself, now stand silent while Wisconsin Republicans receive multiple death threats against their entire families!
And these are the people our police, firefighters and teachers choose to stand with? Is your greed that overwhelming that you compromise on basic human dignity? And that is what it all boils down to - what is yours and what is mine.
As history has proven, the greatest enemies to a society are greed and corruption. And as this greed continues to ratchet up the emotion around the country, we are seeing rank and file union members, in their quest to protect what's in it for themselves, become willing foot soldiers in the Progressive Left's quest to destroy America.
As for the tea party movement, there should be legitimate concern as to whether the far left is recapturing public opinion in this country. As ugly as the images may be on our screens, these images are being framed in a sympathetic, almost romantic manner by the media.
Yes, the left has found a pulse, and how the tea party responds, or fails to respond, could very well determine the future that awaits America. The only thing we can be sure of is that our politicians, like willows in the spring air, will gently bend in whatever direction the winds of popular opinion are blowing.