An interesting exchange with a “Progressive colleague”
This is not one of my usual articles, but rather an exchange of opinions between myself and a “progressive” friend of mine. He was commenting on my article “Politicizing violence”, and we of course wandered into the Tea Party movement, because of article he wrote implying that the Tea Party movement was a “hate group”, and it’s within that backdrop that the exchange began.
Obviously, I took him to task, on his article, what transpired next, was an interesting spirited exchange that actually took on a life of its own, between hopefully still friends…who have a totally different vision of what America is…and what it should be.
The following is an excerpt from that exchange, of course you’re welcome to view the entire debate…it is long and at times rambling, and of course unedited, spur of the moment comments and at times emotional, however never mean-spirited. I only posted the beginning of the debate…however it does get quite interesting, the article and debate continues on BrooWaha.com
"However, violence isn’t a one sided issue as Republican Eric Cantor, can attest too. In the early hours on Tuesday, a shot was fired through a window at his campaign office in downtown Richmond, luckily no one was injured."
Amo, actually the police ruled that the bullet was randomly fired into the air. Here is an excerpt from the Richmond, Va police report,
"A Richmond Police detective was assigned to the case. A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."
Yes, both the left and the right have used heated rhetoric. That has been going on since the founding of our nation. However, how do you explain that under both W. Bush and now Obama the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have reported a rise in rightwing extremist groups that condone the use of violence, while at the same time reports that leftwing extremist groups have almost entirely embraced the "No Harm" philosophy?
And, with all due respect, how do you explain the rise in rightwing violence toward government officials, immigrants, and gays? How can one make an honest arguement that the leftwing extremist groups are equally involved in acts of violence? Where is the proof? Certainly a random bullet that someone shot up in the air and just so happened to land in Cantor's office is no proof of new leftwing acts violence.
I just read your long winding and winded (I’m an old guy and I get winded easily) comments. Let me get this straight, a shot being fired near the headquarters of a leading congressman that hits his window, after congress passed one of the most divisive bills in American history is not considered an act of violence…did I get that right?
However, on the other hand, Tea Party protesters that by definition ”cannot fairly be considered an extremist group” however are labeled in your headline as ”Tea Party Terrorists”…did I also get that right? Aren’t we a bit confused?
Amo, that is right. When the police investigated the shooting they found that the bullet's trajectory proved that it had come nearly straight down from the sky. In other words, no one was aiming at the window of the office. In fact, the bullet broke through the window and landed less than a foot from the window sill.
I read an article that suggested Cantor knew the bullet was actually the result of a random, stray firing and yet choose to make a press release suggested he was a victim of violence. Which of course would make him a liar and a con man. However, I'm not sure if there is any proof Cantor or his staff realized that the trajectory evidence had determined it was a random firing?
I hope the find the guy that shoot off the gun. It was a very dangerous and stupid thing to do. What could be really ironic if they catch the person and he ends up being a pro-gun rights advocate who believes the government has no right to regulate his use of firearms. Maybe Cantor might say, "hey wait, some gun regulation is for the public good."
Amo, As for your point about Tea Party Terrorists, as you can see, the title of the articles asks the question, are they becoming the next great threat? As I point out in the article, the tea baggers have embraced many radical, racist, extremist rightwing beliefs and are becoming increasingly violent and or accepting of violence. Since you wish to claim the Tea Party movement as your own, why aren't you talking to your fellow tea baggers about their violent, racist rhetoric? As the FBI under baby Bush has pointed out, since the end of the Vietnam War, the progressive liberals have systematically taken on and eliminated the violent elements within their own ranks. Why has the rightwing not done the same? In fact, why has the rightwing seen an explosion in violent extremist groups? I think this is something the rightwing seriously needs to ask themselves.
Within a few sentences you’ve condemned a large segment of the American public, the following is an excerpt from an article I wrote, it was called “Tea Party” Protests; up close and personal, and I wrote it just about a year ago. I won’t bore you with the entire article…just my observations at my first Tea Party protest.
“In truth I never felt comfortable being in organizations, and though I was never timed in voicing my opinions in debate or writing political pieces, this was different. I always balked at joining any party or group, for fear of being labeled or worse yet being indoctrinated by that party or group, I prided myself a free thinker void of labels or slogans, and I was uncomfortable in demonstrating outright for any cause, perhaps like those farmers and merchants hundreds of years ago, who just wanted to live their life’s and be left alone.”
I thought to myself how strange it is to feel a kinship to people you’ve never met and probably will never meet again, and yet these are “my people”. Within moments I was engulfed within this sea if well wishers, as a hot cup of coffee were quickly offered by a pretty young lady wearing a large red, white and blue top hat.
“Thank you for coming” shouted another pretty lady, waving a yellow flag that now seemed to be the new battle colors peppered throughout the crowd. “Where are you from”? shouted an elderly gentleman,” here have a cookie”, shouted another, “Do you need a towel”? Asked an elderly lady, sitting in a wheelchair, with a large sign propped on her lap…not exactly your hardcore protesters, that the mainstream media would have you believe, is it?
No paid protesters, or nameless backers, these are average Americans displaced by an out of control government, hard working people, who pay their taxes, and are full of pride in what America was. They’ve lost faith in a government that no longer subscribes to the principles of our Founding Fathers, and like their Native American brothers before them, they understand now, the perils that confront them...
And so it went, on a cold rain swept day, on a boardwalk in Belmar, New Jersey, young and old alike united together on this day, for a common cause. And as I sipped my hot cup of coffee and waved to the honking autos passing by, I couldn’t help but feel pride in this new generation of “colonists”.
Of course, this little beach town on the South shore, of New Jersey, wasn't alone, like-minded Americans around the nation in hundreds of little towns and villages and in big cities alike, took to the streets with their signs and placards, and of course their tea-bags, to remind their government once again, who’s in charge.
The mainstream media for their part had drawn a line in the sand months ago and decided either not to report on the protests or to discredit them, as much as possible. To that end, a young female reporter from CNN, in Chicago, went from being a none biased reporter to a debating government advocate, within seconds.
She ended her report, by suggesting that the protests were part of a right-wing movement, sponsored by FOX News, and that she couldn't continue because of the hostile crowds around her. The fact that she waded into the crowd, asked a question of a young man holding a child and then pulling the microphone away, as he tried to respond to the question, and then interjecting her own views…thus changing the subject matter on the spot, I suspect had a lot to do with the hostility.
What viewers did not see, after this so-called interview, was what immediately followed. A true civil debate with this reporter and a middle aged lady, who carefully outlined why she was there protesting, and why millions of people have stopped viewing news organizations such as CNN.
Perhaps these demonstrations in time will fizzle out, and we'll once again go back to being empathic, and put our collective heads in the sand, but then again I'm reminded by history, and how a “rag-tag” army of farmers and merchants planted those seeds of discontent and gave birth to a nation…perhaps history is once again distended to repeat itself…you never know.
Dean, if I recall you had commented on this article, and you were concerned about the last sentence I wrote, and you asked me was I advocating another American Revolution, well by friend the Revolution has already begun, with the election of Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who won the seat from on of the most liberal Senators in the history of the United States Congress, that of the late Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy.
This is a battle not of cannon and musket, but of ideals, and principles, and those ideals and principles couldn’t be greater.
What I find unsettling with my “friend”, is the total hypocrisy within his arguments, he equates the fact that percentage wise, there are few people of color within the Tea Party movement, so of course the movement most have a racial bias to it.
Again, it’s a slick trick of progressives and radical leftists (not necessarily liberals), to play that “race card”, obviously once you smear a person or a movement with that offensive comment, its difficult to get past it.
Even the likes of Congressman Charlie Rangel (of all people), made a foolish comment likening the Tea Party Movement, to his being “spat upon” in his early years within the Civil Rights Movement. Obviously, he’s revering to the incident in Washington that shows an elderly protester with his hands cupped around his mouth shouting at passing lawmakers, one of the lawmakers pauses a moment points his finger at the direction of the elderly protester, whips the side of his face, and continues walking by, a female police officer is directly at his side and witnesses the incident.
This video has been watched in slow motion, stopped, reversed and blown up countless times by every major news outlet in the country…it is totally inconclusive, no charges have been filed, and this lawmaker refuses to be interviewed my the media.
Yet, my progressive “friend” continues the slander…my only conclusion is that the radical left is in fear and will do anything in their power to stop this movement, they know that an engaged, informed and well read public is the most dangerous thing for any progressive to deal with.
Robert, progressives are really good at organizing societies. Especially when it comes to the part of creating death camps for the undesirables, and deciding on who exactly the undesirables are. They have a very simple core principle for making that determination….Simply put…Those who are not as smart as we are, and those who are smarter than we are, are not desirable in our society. If we don’t remove these people from the government as quickly as possible, I'm afraid “ See you at camp” is going to have a whole new meaning for our children,