I sent the following to my local paper, but I figure it probably applies to reporting on the tea parties nationwide. Feel free to copy anything you'd like to say to your local paper. I doubt any of them will be put into print, which is why I'm posting it here. Names have been changed to protect... me.
Thank you for your “report”, and I use the term loosely, on the local tea party rally Mr. Smith. We now know where you stand: firmly beside record deficit spending, which I'm guessing you decried during the Bush administration. How about a little perspective from inside the rally?
I was there and I saw two large “Don't Tread on Me” banners, not nearly enough to “outnumber” the American flags, one of which I acquired on my way into the park from people handing them out. Yes – there was talk of “righteous anger”, but contrary to the implication of your “report”, this was the most self-controlled, even good-humored, “angry” mob you'll ever see. When I was looking, the local police had their backs to us, suggesting they were more concerned about disruption from outside the tea party than from within it. The attendees were from every age group, with the majority being middle-aged, middle class Americans like me. Clearly, many of them had taken a break from work to attend as indicated by their business attire. Many others were, like me, representing our families who could not attend because they were at work and school.
Your suggestion that we were there to “rail against stimulus spending, budget deficits, mortgage relief and efforts to right the banking system” is creatively worded. You've learned well at the feet of the master, President Obama. Set-up that straw man and then bash it to pieces. Conservatives – or those of us “on the red end of the political spectrum” (more creative wording) - don't believe the government should do nothing in response to the financial crisis. We believe a tax holiday for individuals and small businesses would be incredibly stimulative. We don't believe individuals or corporations or governments overcome a debt crisis by going trillions of dollars into debt. Do you? We believe in consequences for bad behavior and poor decision-making and therefore, yes, we are against “mortgage relief” (taxpayer bailouts). We see two possible choices in the effort to “right the banking system”. First, relieve the banks of their toxic assets (which might, eventually, lead to a return on the taxpayers investment as it did for the RTC). Second, let the banks fail (which is bad for shareholders, but not so bad for taxpayers and depositors insured by the FDIC). The Obama administration is choosing to do neither. His plan is to prop up these zombie banks (not my original creative language) with taxpayer money for as long as... is there an end game? How does that plan sit with you and your children and your grandchildren? I admit, it makes me angry.
The huge cheer for JFK's “Ask not what your country can do for you...” quote wasn't despite him being a Democrat. It was because Obama is the anti-JFK: “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.” And don't try to shut us up with the race card. We'd love to have more, as the local black politician said “Americans who happen to be black” and JFK Democrats join us in this fight for our country's future. It's your future too, Mr. Smith.
Shame on the editorial staff for letting Mr. Smith's blatantly biased “reporting” be printed anywhere other than the opinion page.