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Unprincipled and principled opposition, the derision of Tea Party Patriots and Conservatives

June 11, 2010

The Unprincipled Opposition

April 17th, 2010 

Conservatives are called stupid, ignorant, racist and worse.  Recently, I ran smack into this at a three-day forensic psychology conference.  The presenters were highly educated professionals, leaders in their field.  The first presenter said Pennsylvania was Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with nothing else in between.  The second day, a different presenter stated that “Southern racist Democrats who opposed civil rights are Republicans now.”  The last presenter, Dr. X, referenced Sarah Palin as “the idiot who wrote her speech on her hand.”  He described a jury in Binghamton, NY as “arriving in pickup trucks, gun racks in the back, dressed like American Gothic.”  Finally, he asserted that no one got death threats before the Tea Parties.

The message was clear.  Rural people are ignorant at best, stupid at worst and always bigots.  Republicans and conservatives are all three.  The tone was contemptuous, the attacks disdainful and personal.

On the last day I stood up and stated, “I drive a pickup truck, I sometimes have guns in the back, I helped organize a tea party and, by the way, my wife is from Binghamton.”  I asked for simple respect and, quoting Lincoln, asked the presenters and attendees to access “the better angels of their nature.”  Dr. X refused to apologize.  After the session, several colleagues approached me, were complimentary and glad I spoke up.  One, who happened to be African-American, said “Thanks, man, I’m a Republican.”

As we were leaving the hotel the next morning my wife Jo, who is an American beauty, not American Gothic, introduced herself to Dr. X as “the idiot from Binghamton” and attempted to educate him about stereotypes.  He was cordial but remained unapologetic.

What gives rise to the contempt of the arrogant?  They believe they’re intellectually and morally superior.  It’s a step down a dangerous path of dehumanization.

We conservatives need to speak up.  In doing so, we give like-minded people the courage to find their voices as well.  Expect emotion-driven, personal attacks.  Expect to feel angry and/or insulted; it’s only natural.  Remember that the attacks are rooted in arrogance and contempt.  Take several deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, slowly.  Respond factually.  Smile – it helps reduce tension.  As Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  Don’t be intimidated.  They’re not very scary.  If this is the best the high-powered brains I endured for three days can come up with, we have nothing to fear.

THE PRINCIPLED OPPOSITION

April 7th, 2010

Conservatives oppose Obama, and we’re called ignorant and hateful.  We organize peaceful rallies against excessive government spending and we’re called “tea-baggers”, a sexual innuendo.  We oppose Obamacare and we’re branded as racist.  These despicable political tactics are designed to scare us into silence.  It won’t work.  We oppose Obama not because of race, but because of his naked statism.  Conservatives proudly support three African-American candidates for the U.S. Senate and 35 African-American candidates for Congress.

Our dissent is rooted in the philosophy which gave rise to our founding, the Enlightenment.  John Locke, a philosopher in that movement, believed truth is found through reason and experience.  If citizens make better arguments than kings or congressmen, the citizens argument wins.  This was on display in tea parties and was seen in recent town hall meetings, where it was obvious that ordinary Americans knew more about health-care legislation than their representatives.

Tea partiers knew the stimulus package was futile and wasteful.  FDR tried this in the 1930’s.  It failed.  FDR’s New Deal didn’t solve the Great Depression, but prolonged it.  Unemployment averaged a painful 18% from 1933, When Roosevelt took office, to the begining of WWII.

Conservatives oppose Obamacare because government programs always cost far more than promised.  Massachusetts-care is similar to the bill Obama crammed through the House.  The people were promised it wouldn’t cost more than $88 million per year.  Four years after its passage, Massachusetts is broke.  Health-care costs have exceeded $4 billion.  Costs for Bay-Staters haven’t gone down; their health-care costs are the highest in the nation, 27% higher than the national average.  The Massachusetts Medical Society says there is a “critical shortage” of primary care doctors.  Bay-Staters are covered, but what good is coverage if you can’t see a doctor?

Fellow conservatives, fear not.  Let the liberals call us every vile name in the book.  Their attacks say far more about who they are than who we are.   Our opposition to Obama and the statist Democrats is rooted in history and experience.  Make your case fearlessly.  boldly stand on principle.  We walk in the footsteps of the founders, Jefferson, Madison and Washington.  We’re in very good company.

Michael A. Morrongiello

Steuben County Young Republicans

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