Stop Calling the Tea Party Extreme. It Isn’t.

Stop Calling the Tea Party Extreme. It Isn’t.

By Mercer
Tyson

The left-leaning mainstream media and liberal
Democratic politicians continue to refer to the Tea Party as extreme, wacko, and
out of touch with the American public.  Clear evidence indicates exactly the
opposite.

Many of us are getting increasingly annoyed when we
hear the Tea Party called extreme, right-wing wackos, or other unbecoming names
along that vein.  Of course, almost everyone I know decidedly left of center
deems him- or herself centrist.  My knee-jerk liberal neighbor thinks he’s a
centrist.  I have gone back through every posting on his blog, and they are all
as far left on whatever subject he is writing about as one can
be.

But then, he also thinks Obama is a centrist, as do
large segments of the MSM, Hollywood, and other liberal groups.  Universal
health care, unconditional amnesty for everyone, taxing enough life out of our
valuable corporations to drive them to other countries (good riddance!  I mean,
who wanted those high-paying jobs anyway?), subsidizing green energy schemes
that cost a fortune and make no economic sense — it goes on and on.  I guess
that, given their viewpoint, it’s no wonder they think the Tea Party is
extreme.

Now, I know it’s pointless to try to convince a
liberal that reality isn’t a whipped-cream world where all you have to do is
wish and it will come true.  However, with the hope that some late arrivals to
politics and those “independents” who seem to ride the fence and fall on
whatever side has greener grass at the moment are open-minded and willing to
listen, I will present some very obvious facts that have been dramatically
confused by the various liberal cults that want to paint the Tea Party as
extremist.

First, make no mistake about the MSM; they feign
honesty, but their decidedly slanted viewpoint denies them the ability to
present things in a straightforward manner.  There are some who argue that they
purposefully distort the truth and paint those on the right side of the aisle as
loonies, either directly or subtly.  I choose to believe that, being in the news
business, they are merely hopeless liberals without a clue about reality, and
believe they are representing the news fairly.  Regardless, they have the
ability to affect opinions.  Depicting the Tea Party as extreme is an issue that
really needs to be exposed.

So, exactly what does it mean to be extreme?  We all
know, but I will present a definition
anyway from Dictionary.com (with some minor editing):

1.  of a character or kind farthest
removed from the ordinary or average.

2.  utmost or exceedingly great in
degree.

3.  farthest from the center or
middle; outermost; endmost.

4.  farthest, utmost, or very far in
any direction.

5.  exceeding the bounds of
moderation.

6.  going to the utmost or very great
lengths in action, habit, opinion, etc.

So what exactly is extreme about the Tea Party?  Just
how are they “of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or
average”?

Let’s analyze their viewpoints.  The Tea Party is not
an official organization, but from the TeaParty.net
website, the main “planks” are:

  • Limited federal government
  • Individual freedoms
  • Personal responsibility
  • Free markets

Limited Government

A recent Rasmussen poll
(from US News and World Report) indicated that considerably more respondents
believe the federal government has too much power as opposed to too little.
According to the survey:

75 percent of Republicans believe the federal
government has too much power over the states while a plurality of Democrats (37
percent) believe the balance is about right.  Among those not affiliated
with either major party, 52 percent say the federal government has too much
influence while 9 percent say not enough
.  [Italics
added.]

And from a January ABC News article:

ABCNEWS tested the issue with two questions: Half the
respondents in this poll were asked if they trust the government to do what’s
right when it comes to handling national security and the war on terrorism.
Sixty-eight percent said yes. The other half were asked if they trust the
government to do what’s right when it comes to handling social issues like the
economy, health care, Social Security and education.  Far fewer — 38 percent —
said yes.

On this issue, the Tea Party is decidedly
centrist.

Individual Freedoms

A December 2010 poll
from Rasmussen Reports clearly shows how important individual freedoms are for
Americans; “[a]mong moderate voters, a plurality (48%) agrees with the
conservative perspective with a focus on protecting individual rights.”
Interestingly, “[t]he widest gap as is often the case is between the Political
Class and Mainstream voters.  Seventy percent (70%) of those in the Mainstream
say the primary role of a government is to protect individual rights.  Fifty-one
percent (51%) of Political Class voters say insuring fairness and social justice
should come first.”  Wow.  A whopping 70% of the Mainstream class!
Those are big numbers.

On this issue, the Tea Party is decidedly
centrist.

Personal Responsibility

While polls asking the direct question of how
important personal responsibility is in general are hard to find, specific polls
show Americans believe in the concept.  From a Gallup poll on the subject of
personal responsibility in the matter of health care, “89% of Republicans, 64%
of independents, and 61% of Americans overall say Americans themselves — rather
than the government — have the primary responsibility for ensuring that they
have health insurance.”  Fairly large numbers support the Tea Party
position.

Hardly anything that can be called
extreme.

Free Markets

No surprise here.  According to a GlobalScan
poll,
the free-enterprise system and free-market economy together decidedly constitute
the best system on which to base the future of the world.  In the U.S., this
opinion is shared by 71% of the people surveyed in contrast to 24% who
disagree.  (Worldwide polling shows 61% agreement as opposed to 28% who
disagree.)  Concurrence again.

So, concerning all four “planks” of the Tea Party, the
majority of the public is clearly in agreement.  However, as we know, the Tea
Party is vocal in its support or opposition to other specific issues as well.
Regarding some of their more important issues:

  • A July 11 CNN/ORC
    poll shows that 66% of the respondents support Cut, Cap, and
    Balance.
  • In the same poll, 74% Support a Balanced Budget
    Amendment.
  • On the budget deficit, many would agree that the Tea
    Party believes in the cuts-only or mostly spending cuts approach.  According to
    the following chart from Gallup,
    67% think the deficit should be reduced by only or mostly spending cuts.  Even
    those who believe in spending cuts alone account for 26%.  Hardly
    extremist.

 

 

  • CNN
    poll
    , January 2011, 71% of people want to cut spending in
    general (although they don’t agree as to what should necessarily be
    cut).
  • Finally, from an LA Times article:
    “according to most polls, about 20% of voters are liberal, substantially less
    than the about 40% who identify themselves as conservative.”

So how is it the Tea Party is labeled extremist when,
on virtually all their important issues, the evidence is clear that most
Americans are in substantial agreement with it?  And why did a Gallup
survey
conducted April 20-23 of this year find that only 30 percent of Americans
describe themselves as Tea Party supporters?

Clearly, the American public has been mislead by the
MSM and by the propensity of liberal politicians who customarily preach the
left-wing viewpoint to hurl charges of racism or other unflattering words at
anyone who does not agree with them.  Serious misunderstanding of the Tea Party
and the American people is apparent in Nancy Pelosi’s famous comment
referring to the Tea Party movement as astroturf instead of
grassroots.

The result of this misrepresentation is the
marginalization of the Tea Party to segments of the American public who pay
little attention to politics and believe what they hear on the 6:00 news at
dinnertime.  It’s time the “teabaggers” passionately disclaim the extremist
label.  People who make that claim should be stopped in their tracks
immediately, and the conversation should cease until that claim is
contested.

No, the Tea Party is not extreme.  It is merely the
“Silent Majority” no longer being silent.

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