Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Right to Protest


The furor over the Tea Parties held across the country to protest health care reform and other issues of significant importance has died down just a bit recently, but there are still commentators who question whether the parties do any good.
Colleen McCain Nelson who is on the editorial board at The Dallas Morning News had this to say:
"I can't argue that free speech is bad for America -- even when I disagree with what folks are saying. But I'm not certain what the tea parties are accomplishing - beyond assembling an angry mob."

Another pundit wondered if the movement is helpful or harmful.

Personally, I like the idea of the tea parties. In fact, I was suggesting we do something like the Boston Tea Party long before the current craze, but instead of dumping tea in the Boston Harbor, I suggested dumping all the politicians into the water and getting new ones.

But I digress.

I think the current move to take more control over government is a good one, and we have to keep in mind that people are sometimes going to be emotional and strident about issues that touch them personally.

What about the mob that threw the tea in Boston Harbor in 1773? Do you think they were polite and orderly? There had to be a lot of shouting and name-calling going on there.

Yes, it would be nice if people could always behave civilly in these Tea Parties. Civility is something we are sorely lacking in public today, but we have to keep in mind that emotions often override reason, and people react before they have had a chance to stop and think.

I don't know if the Tea Parties have influenced any decisions coming out of Washington, but one good thing is that people are stepping forward and doing more than complaining about what is going on with government. Also, I think the movement has increased voter participation and that is a good thing.

What do you think? Are the meetings creating more harm than good?

4 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I think civil discussions are good. I think disagreements are okay. I don't like name calling, lies, screaming, comparing our President to Hitler, or inciting riots. There are lies on both sides. If everyone's yelling, then no one is listening.

First off, I'd like to get rid of every single lobbyist. Period. Gone.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Maryann Miller said...

Amen to that last statement, Helen.

And you are right about the name calling. I don't agree with it either, but my point is that this is no different from 1773. I'm sure there was name calling then, too. Even as uncivil as the Tea Parties are, they are democracy in action.

Ginger Simpson said...

I attended a Nashville Tea Party and it was a positive experience. There was no name calling, screaming or riotous behavior. In fact, people were polite, interested, and shared their concerns. I was highly insulted to be compared to terrorists by the head of Homeland Security. Seems people should experience something before they rush to judgment.

Obama's rush to change doesn't make sense. Why hurry up and make mistakes over taking time, researching and making sure "reform" of any kind is actually reform.

I spent too many years with my head buried in the sand, and now, I try to take time from promoting my books to encourage my fellow Americans to pay attention and speak up while they can. The world looks wonderful through rose colored glasses, but it's time to take them off and get rid of party-lines and politicians who have turned elected posts into full-fledged careers. Special interest groups have lined the pockets of our government officials long enough. In the words of the the President when he was campaigning. It's time for change. And getting rid of party lines might be a great idea. People are so busy thumbing their noses at one another, they've lost perspective about what is important and what isn't.

Maryann Miller said...

Ginger, glad your experience at a tea party was a good one. Mine was here, too. No name calling, etc. Too bad they can't all be that way. There were plenty that were out of control, and of course, all people involved are now considered to be just as much out of control.