Respect And Civility Despite Differences

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - April 14, 2010

There has been a great deal of disparaging and downright insulting remarks made about those who participate in Tea Parties. Let’s understand something: Those who are willing to throw criticisms regarding comportment, etiquette and boorish behavior would be well served to remember the lesson of “those in glass houses.”

Liberals, supporters of President Obama, Democrats and lefties would like the world to believe that Tea Partiers are a bunch of racist, profane and immoral rednecks who simply can’t get over the fact a black man is President.

As with most salvos heaved from the left, this assessment (among others) is simplistic at best and purposefully divisive at worst. Clearly, this storm of negativity and bombastic critique is based on fear and anxiety. A failure for Barack Obama is perceived to be an indictment of the cornerstone of leftist belief that government supersedes the individual. If this administration fails in its apparent mission to transform America into a replica of pseudo-socialistic Europe, the impact to the left would be akin to telling a second-grader there is no Santa Claus.

The blind faith that so many employ show in following the edicts of the administration and its minions is threatened when the factual details of the folly created by the President and others are revealed. The sheep simply don’t care about the reality of their shepherd’s decisions. He must lead. He must win (health care reform).

Although there are instances of bad behavior on both sides, there are no greater perpetrators of public excoriation and character assassination than those from the left, most recently from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Alitany of disgusting, classless and infuriating statements directed at President George W. Bush and his team are legend. In concert with a complicit and sycophantic media (CNN and MSNBC and their “Tea Bagger” vulgarities) and entertainment industry, the fabrication of information (Mr. Rather) and evisceration at the hands of late-night comics was omnipresent. In comparison, the allegations coming from Tea Partiers is metaphorical to playing footsies under the table at a friend’s wedding reception.

Yes, there are some on the right who employ distasteful tactics, and one person’s commentary should not define an entire movement. But the relentless discrediting of the Tea Parties and their supporters knows no bounds.

Arecent Associated Press report said, “They’ve been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values.” According to Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, “I’ve been told I hate myself. I’ve been called an Uncle Tom. I’ve been told I’m a spook at the door.” Why this cruel treatment? Because Mr. Johnson and his organization support free market principles and limited government - which flies in the face of the current administration’s agenda. But the underlying message is clear. A black man should support this president because he is black. Therefore, it is hypocritical of those on the left to throw the “race card” at Tea Partiers when their own prey upon those who have the audacity to have a differing opinion.

The difference between a Tea Partier and the status quo has nothing to do with race or even political party. It’s about a fundamental difference in belief in which direction our nation should take.

There are those of us who believe the path charted by Obama/Pelosi/Reid is wrong just as fervently as some of you believe it is right. Our responsibility is to disagree agreeably without shading the process with epithets and obscenity.

Regardless of your position, this would be best for everyone.

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