We have all heard the media denounce the tea party movement as nothing more than a group of angry, uneducated white guys protesting taxes in revolutionary attire. Liberal commentators label the movement as a racial protest that would never have even started if we had a white president. But why are liberals being so harsh on this innocent populist movement?
Well, the answer is quite obvious. It is a popular conservative-based protest and is a political threat to their heroes in Washington.
In the past, we have witnessed radicalism in so-called “peaceful” marches of liberal activists throughout the years, but the media seems to be immune to instances of violence and civil disobedience. Yet when fiscally conservative individuals gather together in peaceful rallies, reporters seem to generalize the entire movement on the actions of a couple radicals. Even if these accusations are true, they are nothing more than anomalies in this truly peaceful movement. I highly doubt that the National Guard will be breaking up tea party protests any time soon.
You have probably also seen the statistics on the demographics of tea party supporters — data that unsurprisingly seems to fluctuate depending on the source. While a recent New York Times/CBS News survey stated that 18 percent of adults supported the tea party, MSNBC reports that 24 percent support it. So much for accurate statistics.
And for those who think this is a racial-based protest, think again. This explanation is yet another invention of the media, and echoes the same simple-minded use of the race card that soiled American politics during Obama’s presidential campaign. There is absolutely no indication that these protests have any racial undertones. Rather, the tea party movement seeks a fiscally responsible policy and unnecessary government intrusion on our liberty.
Indeed, CBS News and the New York Times claim that 89 percent of its supporters are white. Yet these statistics do not seem to align very well with the fact that there are 32 African American candidates running for congressional office on none other than the Republican ticket. And there is no evidence of any organized movement to recruit African Americans for office. The only reasonable conclusion for this phenomenon is conservative solutions are becoming more and more appealing, and have finally crossed racial boundaries.
President Obama does not seem to realize the worries of tea partiers across the nation. On tax day, he said that he could not find a reason why tea party protestors were not instead thanking him for the tax breaks pushed by his administration this year. Surely, the president isn’t narrow-minded enough to believe that Americans will forget about the tax days of years to come.
But this is where millions of Americans seem to miss the big picture. Obamacare has not taken full effect, countless Americans are receiving unemployment and the Bush tax cuts haven’t expired yet. The delusion of low taxes seems to be a reality now, but just wait until next year.
It is true that many tea party supporters think their taxes are fair this year, but the whole point of this movement is to prevent tax hikes in the future. What’s wrong with preventative action? These protestors are hardworking Americans that are not only looking out for their own future stability, but also the stability of their children and grandchildren — the ones that will be assuming the burden of our looming federal deficit.
Lastly, these are not rednecks carrying witty signs against taxes; these are educated individuals united for a common purpose — to preserve the American dream in what was once the land of opportunity. Approximately 37 percent of supporters have advanced college degrees.
As college students, we need to realize that the burden is on us. As Cal Poly architecture senior Nathan English observed, “Many students at Cal Poly will be the future leaders of America and have a moral investment in the path that government takes. This path can help create or destroy your opportunities for the future, as well as so many others that don’t have the opportunity to voice their concerns.”
English likewise is shocked by the responses of his professors.
“One of my professors argued that these protesters were actually doing a disservice to the country by causing observers to doubt the stability of the United States,” he said. “Based on that assumption, I would conclude that this is another argument telling the people that they should take life as is and go back to their complacency where they have no moral stake in its decisions.”
The tea party movement is a wake up call to all American taxpayers. Wait a few years, and the tab will be on you. What are you going to do about it?