So, I'm having a conversation with a friend of mine at work who identifies himself as "Tea Party before there was a Tea Party." He's staunchly conservative and a huge proponent of "small government." He and I have had some very interesting conversations over the years and our political and social views are diametrically opposed.
As I was ranting (yes, I admit I was ranting) about the new Arizona new Immigration Law, we began to talk about Grass Roots Movements and he asked me what I thought about the Tea Party Movement. I told him that I think true Grass Roots Movements are a great thing for this country and that most of the genuine progress we've seen on social issues in this country have sprung from such. However, I think that there is an ulterior motive to the Tea Party Movement. To clarify my point, I said that the people who come out to attend these Tea Party protests don't really seem to understand what it is that they are protesting. They come to these protests using government-funded mass transit to protest overspending by the government. They rail against the Health Care Reform law, saying they don't want government run health care, and hold up signs saying "Leave my Medicare Alone."
While reading over Talking Points Memo, I found this video, which is from New Left Media (their bias is directly in their name as opposed to say, Fox News). I wanted to share this with you.
Now, as I said, I'm all for Grass Roots Movements. I even support the right of obviously disturbed people like the Westboro Baptist Church to share their views. This is what makes our country great. That being said, I think that if one is going to be out there protesting against something that the government is supposedly doing, it's not too much to ask to make sure that the government is actually doing what you say they're doing, instead of just listening to hyperbole or rhetoric by people who make a living doing that, such as Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. Time and time again, the points that these four in particular have brought up have been proven to be false. And time and time again, their followers keep spouting that same rhetoric, even when offered proof to the opposite. How do you debate someone who refuses to listen to facts?
Albert Einstein's famous quote "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" seems to apply here. It makes me almost wish that Snopes.com was required reading. Or that we could have runners at the bottom of our television screens that say "The program you are watching is most likely biased. Please do your own research and form your own opinions." And I would want those runners to be on Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann as well, thank you.
I don't trust the media anymore. None of them. Every media outlet in this country has an agenda. So when I read or hear a story that interest me, I do my own research. In the case of Health Care Reform, I went and read the proposed legislation. I did the same thing with Arizona's new law. Doing things like this gives me the knowledge I need to enlighten people who think that the Health Care Reform law is socialized medicine. It's nowhere near that, but the people in the above video don't seem to know that. In fact, as one senior citizen mentions, they're still holding on to Sarah Palin's "death panel" ideas, even though those were proven to be false over a month before the law was passed.
We have become a country of sheep. We follow whomever speaks the loudest, uses the most inflammatory words and has the highest ratings. People are angry; the economy is in the crapper, unemployment benefits continue to go down, costs continue to go up. Everyone wants to do something, find some outlet for their frustrations and anger, I get that. But find out what's really going on before you rail against something that's not happening. I'm incredibly incensed about Palpatine disbanding the Republic's senate and declaring himself Emperor, but I realize that it only happened in the Star Wars movies. I'm not about to go out in public and make an ass of myself by calling for his overthrow.