letter to editor, re: tea party whining

31 03 2010

Jim Bellah (Oregonian letters, 3/31) asks why the tea party is seen as threatening, when they are so much less violent than left-wing protesters. He echoes an argument frequently heard from the right; that the media or the conventional wisdom or somebody gives the left permission to protest, but not the right.

By and large, left-wing protesters are peaceful. Since the beginning of the Iraq war, there have been innumerable large-scale protests all over the country that did not result in any property damage or assault. Just last week, Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader led a march of thousands through the Capitol, doing no more damage than writing on the street with mud.

Today’s right-wing activists are, by contrast, belligerent and aggressive. Since the election of Barack Obama, we have had unprecedented breakdown of decorum (“You lie!”), death threats and bigoted epithets issued to Democratic congressmen, Joseph Stack crashing his plane into an IRS building, and the Hutaree plotting a small civil war. Tea party rallies regularly feature inflammatory, gun-infused rhetoric. They are meant to appear threatening, and they do.

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2 responses

31 03 2010
bydesign001
1 04 2010
skorpen

Hi Puma, thanks for your input. The Kenneth Gladney story is disputable: see http://mediamatters.org/blog/200908080004

I don’t doubt that there are isolated incidents of leftists assaulting and vandalizing, but given how much the tea party has deliberately inflamed and debased political discourse, it’s absurd for them to now claim victimhood.

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