Bag It Up

Recently, millions of Americans gathered to protest senseless government spending by purchasing, literally, millions of symbolic tea bags. Really? To protest frivolous spending people bought millions of tea bags? Really?

Upset with how our tax money has been wasted, Americans hosted tea parties around the country. These protests saw angry and fed-up people waving placards and chanting accusations. In addition, many were seen in colonial costume to hearken the original Boston Tea Party. (Did they really want to be taken seriously?) While there are similarities, this is hardly a case of taxation without representation.

Many were calling Obama a fascist and a socialist and cited him as the source of our problems. Really? I ask because didn’t this economic collapse happen under the Bush administration? Wasn’t the original bailout plan made by Bush’s economic team? Wasn’t the first $350 billion half of a $700 billion plan doled out during his watch?

So what was the source and cause of this fascist angle? Perhaps it was Fox News which covered the tea parties more extensively than any other network. If you don’t know, this is the network that called any protest during the Bush administration vehemently anti-American and now touts protests against Obama as part of the fight against tyranny.

Despite a firm denial of sponsoring any of these protests, the network’s screen banners read “FNC Tea Parties” over a nationwide map of protests. Many Fox anchors “hosted” tea parties. The network’s Glenn Beck hosted his at “the only place that really, really makes sense … The Alamo!” Does that really, really make sense, Mr. Beck, any at all?

This farcical angle and strong-willed attitude is best summed up by Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Limbaugh, who’d been out of his usual spotlight for the past two presidential terms, said at the Republican National Convention that he wanted President Obama to fail. Oh, the audacity of hope. But, really, why?

Okay, okay, I know why. It’s because the president’s ideologies don’t fit his own. And they don’t fit mine. They clearly don’t fit those of millions of Americans, both those who voted for him and those that didn’t. Of course, neither did Bush’s ideologies. Or Clinton’s for that matter. No president has completely and never will, but Obama wants the same thing we all really want (and I would hope Limbaugh would too): peace and prosperity for America and the world.

How can we reach this goal? By doing something practical, such as staunchly rejecting the practices and companies that began the meltdown, and by marching to Washington to not only demand change and progress, but to also do our part and work together, not against one another.

We’ve been told all our lives that the American spirit can accomplish anything. We can do better than wearing silly costumes and pointing.

Robert Jonte