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This post was written by Ivan Guzman, a 15-year-old from the Bronx. Read more about Ivan here:
Hey everybody. I don't know if you've heard but there's a "Tea Party" revolution going on in America. Driven by Fox News, Republicans, and Washington lobbyists...wait a minute, I'm being told that this is a grassroots movement started by the "Average Joe" who's worried about the Governments spending and taxing.
Give me a break. This week hundreds of people took to the streets on tax day to protest the Government's attempt to stimulate the economy. They called themselves Tea-Partiers. Let me repeat that for MSNBC: they called themselves Tea PARTIERS (innuendo is not funny when it's coming from people who call themselves serious journalists, unless it's off-camera). Now, protesters on tax day came as no surprise to me. I don't like paying taxes for anything, especially when a store tells you their price is something like $9.99 and they leave out the fact that you have to pay a little extra for Uncle Sam. But let's not act like this was the start of some wider conservative movement. Taxes are the easiest issue to go after. No one likes to give away money.
Also, the idea that this was a spontaneous grassroots movement is incredibly disingenuous. This whole thing was as spontaneous and grassroots as the new Yankee Stadium tickets are cheap ($2,625 for a front-row seat? They better win TWO championships this year!). Another thing that annoyed me about the tea parties was FOX News's insistence that they were not sponsoring or advertising the tea parties. Hey FOX: when you have commercials about it, when you are talking about it all day, and when you send four of your top "reporters" (yes, the quotations imply that the FOXies aren't serious journalists), there's a small chance you're promoting this thing. The thing that surprised me was seeing Neil Cavuto at one of the tea parties. He was one of the FOXies that in my view had some credibility, but it appears he's just like the rest of them. It was no surprise to me to see Greta Van Susteren (she, like Ann Coulter, killed the streak I mentioned in my last post), Sean Hannity (who I had heard had an interesting, rational, conservative viewpoint, but I'm not seeing it) and Glenn Beck (who appears to be lowering the level of insanity in his show, but not by much). I had only one question: where was Bill O'Reilly? Has he suddenly become too good to join his conservative comrades in battle, or did he realize how weak conservatives are (more on that later)? One final thing about FOX in general: when are they finally going to realize that they're a part of the media they malign so much on their network and that they're doing a far worse job with their "fair and balanced" news than any other network?
Something else that angered me about the tea parties was how many of the tea partyers were possibly misinformed or just ignorant. This was shown beautifully by a blogger named Jeff at a tea party in Pensacola. Here's how it happened:
Jeff: Cheer if you make less than $250,000 a year.
Just about the entire crowd cheers.
Jeff: Your taxes are going to be CUT under the current budget, congratulations!
You would think good news like this would make the tea partyers happy. However, Jeff was booed loudly by the tea partyers.
I'm still amazed that people actually fall for Republican tricks. The amazing thing is that these parties were organized by rich, upper-class conservatives who would are actually going to pay more taxes under the Obama plan. Yet it was mostly middle class conservatives who came out to protest a tax plan that would actually benefit them. Thinking about it leaves me at a loss for words.
I have two things to say about the name of these protests: first, for the people who decided to call the protests "tea partying", the Boston Tea Party was against an imperialist British monarchy who ruled us, yet gave us no voice in their government. But we had eight years of conservative voices in power in this country, and just look where it got us. Second, it was amusing how easy it was to make jokes about the tea partying. As immature as the MSNBC jokes were, when David Shuster is making me laugh that's when you know you picked a bad name.
These tea parties prove just how politically weak and frustrated conservatives are. We're less than four months into the Obama administration and conservatives are already mounting huge protests. I wonder where we'll be by 2010.
Finally, these tea parties allowed me to get a look at how ugly this country can be. I got a chance to see some really hateful messages from the tea partyers, and it made me think maybe to some people this isn't about taxes, or even politics. Maybe it's the fact that we have a black president that made many of these Americans protest on tax day:
That's it for me, I hope no one reading this gets into trouble with the I. R. S. because that would be a huge downer. Thanks for reading.