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Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Defense of Tea Parties: Why They are NOT Racist

This long blog post is a result of a post made by someone on Facebook.  It is a result of a back and forth exchange about Tea Parties and how they use Nazi and other usually racist and anti-semetic images as part of their marketing of ideas.  The FB poster suggested that any use of these images is tantamount to anti-semetism and racism against a black president.  I disagree for the following reasons:

Last time I checked the constitution was designed to place limits on government, including the Supreme Court. Many of the issues which are considered to be of federal concern today were not intended to be so. The Supreme Court has taken upon itself a role as the final arbiter of law. In doing so, it has created legal tests and methods ofanalyzing a case that are not within its powers. This has created a situation where the law is unstable. The US was to be a society of laws, not men. Instead, the expansion of the commerce clause has allowed unelected and anonymous men to promulgate laws and regulations which affect every aspect of the economy.

Obama is a socialist because he is using these regulatory agencies such as the EPA and MMS and even the military to advance a progressive agenda.

The Tea Party is a movement of citizens within the states who on occasion meet at a national level. The concern is that the federal government has overstepped its constitutionally set boundaries and is infringing on state rights. Tea Party members and supporters are not against roads, schools, education, etc. They are against the federal government dictating through central planning how the states should enact these measures. These issues are of state concern.

Moreover, the first amendment allows for freedom of association in the private sector. The constitution only applies to the relationship between government and the people, not the people with the people. A business that wishes to discriminate should be free to do so. In a truly free society where businesses are subject to the laws of demand for their services a discriminatory business may or may not survive but if there is a demand for such a business by the discriminated against party then a business will step in to fill it thereby removing some income from the discriminating business and perhaps put that business out or force integration.

There is not enough space here for a full discussion of the constitution and how to properly apply it or economics. The problem many have with understanding it is that they look only to the end which they want to reach and not to the effects it will have on unintended parties. This is the ill which the Tea Party wishes to address.

I also think that some are confusing racism with political statements. Hitler on a poster does not equal anti-semetism any more than burning a LeBron James jersey equals racism. The signs are pointing out a political belief (still protected by 1st Amendment) that Obama's policies as it relates to nationalism and anti-federalism are similar to Hitler's ideas in the 1940s. While I do not agree that the use of Hitler is the best method of getting that point across, it is not being used to scare or make a statement against Jews and blacks and its use is not racist.

As for the alleged racist events that occurred during tea rallies and other tea party events, there has been no actual proof on video or sound bites that any racial remarks were made to any congressman despite the exorbitant amount of video footage and audio recordings being made by both independent media and event attendees at these rallies. To the contrary, those who try to make such remarks, if they are made at all, are removed from the rallies or alienated from the local groups.

The Tea Party is about lowering the tax burden on all Americans and promoting personal liberty and state sovereignty. It comes from an understanding of economics, constitutional history, and American history.


The race of Obama is not a factor in this. President George W. Bush was not a true conservative (I would argue he was a liberal with some socialist ideas). This came to light towards the end of his second term as president when he began the bailouts and stimulus programs which have been continued under the Obama administration. These bailouts and stimulus programs demonstrate an absolute ignorance of basic economic principles as well as constitutional restraints.

Conservatives tend to be less vocal than liberal activist groups. One of the reasons is the approach taken to conservative causes by most media outlets not called Fox News. But also because their sustenance does not tend to depend on a government program, rather it depends on the absence of a government program. It is easy to find a poor person and then advocate on behalf of that person to have a program initiated. It is much more difficult to imagine a problem and advocate against a program to solve it. This is why many believe Republicans and conservatives never offer any solutions to the problems. Indeed, the conservative solution to most problems is to let people work it out without interference from government. This is one reason that people did not protest so vocally against Bush as they now do against Obama.

To place this whole discussion in historical perspective it should be noted that many were upset over the choice of McCain as the Republican candidate because he was viewed by most conservatives as a liberal wearing a Republican's clothing (wolf in sheep's clothes). It was precisely for this reason that Sarah Palin was chosen as his running mate. She was a more conservative person who would counter any arguments that McCain would be too liberal once in office. However, what he failed to realize was that the VP position is the most useless position in all of federal politics so voters looked only to his liberal tendencies and not his VP pick. Why pick a fake liberal when you can get the real deal in Obama and perhaps force the Republican party to be more conservative next time around? This is what I believe led to the choosing of Obama as president.

We have discussed many times the idea that rap stars cannot earn the large income they do without cross-over appeal. When white teens start buying albums made by black rappers rapping about mainly black angst and concerns that is how P-Diddy and Jay-Z are able to afford their bling. Obama could not have won the election without a large amount of white voters choosing him.

His selection as president did not have much to do with his race. It was a result of the history surrounding his election. Democrats had come off of two embarrassing elections. Al Gore lost despite winning the popular vote (we can debate how this happened another time) and John Kerry lost despite an unpopular war and many Bush gaffes. A candidate needed to be selected that would pose little risk to the party and appear to be fresh and new. The goal was to select a younger, more energetic, and charismatic person to combat what would ultimately be an older, lifelong politician in John McCain or even Mitt Romney or Guliani. Despite his thin record as a politician and some questionable associations he was nominated.

Meanwhile, the economy was quickly tanking because of Bush's liberal bailout and stimulus policies which Obama was able to pin on the entire Republican party. It is Obama's own campaign which woke up many conservatives to the fact that the Republican party was in actuality not much different from the Democratic party in terms of solutions to the economy. This led to a growing sentiment that a new movement would be required to combat the growing socialist and liberal threat to the conservative and capitalistic tenets of the constitution. The Republican party would not of its own volition take charge.

As Obama began to initiate more socialist type programs such as a national healthcare insurance law (not nationalized healthcare) and amnesty for those in the country undocumented or illegally (I think there is a distinction) and giving stimulus funds to favored organizations and causes the conservatives decided to step up and protest this.

All of these programs are paid for with federal taxes or unfunded mandates upon the states which would then be forced to raise state taxes as well. This in turn forces local governments to raise taxes and cut services. This is why the Tea Party decided to protest the taxation as the basis for the party formation. All the protests against healthcare and stimulus payments and other benefits being paid out of tax dollars were to illustrate the misuse of tax money and how the federal government has overstepped its constitutionally set boundaries and become a leviathan, swallowing up the states and their sovereignty and affecting the daily lives of all citizens, not just the tax payers.

I believe that if John McCain were elected instead of Obama a tea party or something similar to it would have been formed. One only need to look at the reception McCain's campaign finance reform (McCain-Feingold) and his immigration reform (McCain-Kennedy) ideas received from conservatives. Even Bush was becoming somewhat of a pariah in conservative circles for his unwillingness, despite numerous promises, to secure the border and enforce immigration laws already on the books.

Remember, as a nation of laws and not of men the laws are meant to be enforced no matter the public official's sentiment. They are the law and set the guidelines for conduct in this country. There is a process for changing this law set out in the constitution and that is the way it was meant to be. Otherwise, no one knows what conduct is permitted or prohibited and economies break down. Uncertainty in the laws inherently leads to uncertainty in the markets (we can discuss that at another time if you wish).

Conservatives are tired of the politicians selectively enforcing laws or selectively protecting and preserving the constitution and are now out in full force. It is sad to note that the Libertarian party has been advocating these ideas since its founding in 1971.

The protests are not because of Obama's race, they are because of his policies and those of the past three administrations (George H.W. Bush, William Clinton, George W. Bush) spanning 20 years of liberal policies being imposed on states by a federal government under both Republican and Democratic party leadership.

Obama has been a conservative's worst nightmare. His solution to any problem is to increase spending or add a federal program. These most certainly lead to increased taxes imposed on someone. Any increase in taxes on any one person is now money he cannot use to buy the goods and services of any other person. This in turn lowers the amount of income that person has to purchase goods and services and creates a downward spiral in the economy. The solution is to decrease taxes and government spending to allow everyone to benefit. It is because of this core conservative belief that the Tea Party is very vocal against Obama.

It is unfortunate that people do not take the time to look at the historical and economic reasons for present political events and look only to the immediate events to make a decision. The president happens to be black. I place no significance on this other than to show that racism was obviously not a factor in his election (remember the P-Diddy factor) unless it is racist to vote for your own race (as 96% of black voters selected Obama) despite the recent historical trend of more blacks voting for Republicans (Bush increased his black vote by 2% points over his 2000 election).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Declaration of Independence - Stll Applicable Today?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.