Washington Examiner Op-Ed: Enough already with the bashing of the Tea Partiers


Ron Miller for State Senate

Previously apolitical Americans who have become involved with the unexpected uprising known as the Tea Party movement have been subjected to a virulent and sustained assault by the political class, the media elite, academia and the entertainment industry.

Those who still trust these corrupted institutions are misled into believing this textbook application of the people’s First Amendment rights to free speech, assembly and petition is motivated by racism, targeting America’s first black President.

As a veteran, family man and law-abiding citizen, I am angry at these institutions for impugning my neighbors and friends.

As a black man who knows real racism when he sees it, I am furious at their trivialization of the word for political gain. The people who gave President Obama approval ratings in the mid-80’s at the beginning of his term didn’t become racists overnight. It’s not his skin color, but his policies that mobilized the silent majority into action.

Regular folks are angry because the institutions we trusted in the past have failed us. Our elected officials are supposed to work for us, not demean and disregard us.

The media is supposed to inform us without an agenda, to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” regardless of ideology.

Our schools are supposed to impart information to our children and develop their critical thinking skills, not spout propaganda and promote groupthink.

Our entertainers, whose careers depend on the millions of ordinary Americans who adore them, are supposed to amuse or inspire us, not deride us for our beliefs and lifestyles, which they deem less enlightened than their own.

Obama, who promised to transcend our divisions, instead exacerbates them. He represents all the people, but openly mocks those of us who object to his vision of America as people who are not just wrong, but stupid and easily misled. This open display of condescension toward ordinary Americans by our own president is unprecedented in my lifetime.

We expect the people in the political arena to take shots at one another. We don’t expect our elected officials, whose salaries we pay and whose respect we are owed due to the power we accorded them, to attack us and mobilize their allies against us.

We are not the enemy.

We believe in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

We believe true compassion is a personal, voluntary act of love taken by individuals acting alone or collectively, not the confiscation and redistribution of our wealth by government.

We believe government serves the people, not the other way around, and should be our protector and enforcer, but not our provider. We know the price of government meeting our needs is the loss of our liberty and prosperity.

If you share our beliefs, regardless of race, you are welcome here – I guarantee it.

For me, the face of the Tea Party movement is the woman in her 90’s who attended a rally in March 2009 at which I was the master of ceremonies. As I knelt down to thank her for coming, she said to me, “I’ve never done anything like this my entire life, but I’m angry and I have to do something.”

These are the people for whom I served my country. These are my people, and insults don’t frighten us, they just make us angrier and more determined. The vile practitioners of racial politics and the arrogant elites of the culture will not silence us. We know who we are, and we know what we must do.

Ron Miller is executive director of Regular Folks United, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and education of liberty.

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