Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Tea is for drinking
Like many others, I am growing increasingly concerned about the rise of the Tea Party Movement in the USA. Tea parties have been the focus for grass roots Republican activity and have been taking place across the US over the past 18 months or so. They are informal, local gatherings bringing together those who oppose President Obama’s health, economic, environmental, well all his policies. I am a believer in democracy so why am I alarmed by the movement? Normally I would be welcoming the fact that it is engaging tens of thousands of people in politics even if I don’t agree with its policy positions. But this feels different. Listen to the language, feel the mood. It feels to me that there more than the hint of bigotry amongst the tea party-goers in spite of a recent attempt to hijack the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I am also really uncomfortable about political movements that invoke God which is what prominent tea party champion and Fox News broadcaster Glenn Beck did at a rally in Washington on the anniversary of Dr King’s “I have a dream” speech”. I am pretty sure that if God does exist s/he would not endorse one party over another.