What happens when other people disagree with us? Our first thought usually begins this way: “What don’t they understand?” Then we quickly get tend to get angry, defensive, and accusatory. Before we get angry, we should probably try to get an answer for that first question. 

Consider this example. We will RockDem is a busy, little Liberal blog located in the Shenandoah.  We will RockDem opposes the Tea Party movement.  How can you tell?  Look at this post, Let’s hope the American people don’t buy, provides a clue.

Let’s hope the American people don’t buy the propaganda of anti-government groups calling for the overthrow of the very institutions that protect all of us from tyranny…If the rhetoric coming out of the Tea Party Convention was coming from the lips of the left wing, they would be considered Anti-American. Continued….

Let’s hope the American people don’t buy ends with a link to Don’t Drink the Tea Party Kool-Aid at AlterNet. In its mission statement, AlterNet claims its aim is the following:

AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more. (from here)

Just in case, we do not get the point, AlterNet tells us about “strategic journalism.” 

AlterNet believes that media must have a higher purpose beyond the essential goal of keeping people informed. We insist on playing an active role in helping our community funnel its energy into change. (from here)

So what do the people at AlterNet have against the Tea Party movement? As I see it, the Liberals at AlterNet make the same error we would do best to avoid.  They  skip immediately from wondering what their opponents don’t understand to getting angry, defensive, and accusatory. Consider how Don’t Drink the Tea Party Kool-Aid begins.

As I continue to read the goings on at the Tea Party Convention, I am overwhelmed by my disbelief that this is a serious movement. However, when I step back to take a rational look, I completely get it. Humankind has a long history of rallying around hate and propaganda.

Before we get angry ourselves, let’s back up to that first step again.  “What don’t they understand?”

As I sit here in my basement on a snowy day, I am listening to WMAL’s Grandy and Andy Morning Show.  Grandy and Andy’s public service for today is to take us back to that first step.  What is it about Sarah Palin that sets off the Liberals (see Obama, Palin Trade Telling Jibes Over Crib Sheets)?  Why bring up Palin? Palin just spoke at the Tea Party Convention (see Sarah Palin’s Address From National Tea Party Convention), and she has become strongly identified with the movement.  Here is a sample of what she had to say.

“We have a vision for the future of our country and it is a vision anchored in time-tested truths. That the government that governs least, governs best. That the Constitution provides the best roadmap towards a more perfect union. That only limited government can expand prosperity and opportunity for all and that freedom is a God-given right and it is worth fighting for. And that America’s finest, our men and women in uniform, are a force for good throughout the world and that is nothing to apologize for.”

“These are enduring truths and these enduring truths have been passed down from Washington to Lincoln to Reagan and now to you. But while this movement, our roots there, in our spirit, too, they are historic. The current form of this movement is fresh and it’s young and it’s fragile. We are now the keepers of an honorable tradition of conservative values and good works. And we must never forget that it is a sacred trust to carry these ideas forward. …”

The Liberal vision has nothing to do with time-tested truths.  Contrast Palin’s words with this excerpt from President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.  The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We’ll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.  All this we can do. 

All this we will do. Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans.  Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.  What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. 

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.  Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward.  Where the answer is no, programs will end.  And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.  (from here)

Whether we like it or not, Liberals insist upon transforming and changing America and us to conform to a vision of their own. Liberals want us to believe socialism works — that we need a huge and powerful government. Yet individuals working voluntarily together built the America we know.  The American People, managing their own budgets, not spendthrift politicians, created the prosperity that our government is now squandering.  What the Tea Party movement is doing is reminding powerful politicians — and the people those politicians have made dependent — that socialism does not work.  Moreover, the Tea Party movement is reminding the People that to keep our Liberty we must preserve our Constitution. 

Unfortunately, the poor souls who have swallowed the poison of socialism’s Utopian dreams find the truth hurtful.  Instead of reacting angrily, we must put ourselves their situation.  They tasted the Kool-Aid, and it tasted good.  They trusted the teachers and the elected establishment who said this deceitful drink would make them healthy and strong. Liberals have made the wrong choice and deeply imbibed socialism into the marrow of their bones, and now they do not want to hear they have been drinking poison. 

As God would have us do, we must pray for them.

— Tom Salmon

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