Posted by: sternenfeeinflorida | 14 September 2010

A few thoughts on the TEA-Party movement

Quite honestly, I have no idea where to begin… I see a lot of Obama-bashing and outright rejection of anything the Democrats are trying to do without presenting another solution. This makes me wonder if those people are just offended that the Republicans don’t have any majority right now, not even a president!
At the same time, I can agree with some of the TEA-Party movement’s goals.
Anyone with some common sense will agree that the health care reform needs further reforms, malpractice laws need a complete overhaul and while I think the government should ensure that everyone living in the US legally has health insurance, this will have to come from private insurance companies. The government should not act as an insurance company. This, of course, includes the elimination of Medicare, Medicaid & VA health care.
However, this is one of the points many TEA-Party supporters seem to be disagreeing. They don’t want government health care, yet they don’t want to lose their Medicare, Medicaid or VA health care benefits. That doesn’t make any sense to me.
I agree that payoffs, lobbying and attaching irrelevant bills should not be part of another bill. To me, this sounds like corruption. Yet, I’ve been told that people running for office have been promising to amend the constitution to prevent these type of things for decades, without ever following through on their promise. I suspect those people changed their mind as soon as money or other benefits were flowing their way. Isn’t it too easy to justify to voters, too? “Look, I accepted the money/benefit & now we can build a new school/lower taxes, whatever.” This is the way it has worked in the past, does anybody really believe this will change?
I suspect those people will conveniently look the other way once they benefit. I would hope the TEA-Party supporters stay true to their ideals should Congress or the Senate or both go to the Republicans later this fall. It would make for better politics. However, my experience with the American people tells a different story.
I think that a smaller government can greatly increase transparency, which will make it a lot easier to hold individuals responsible for their behavior. I think that all government agencies need to be evaluated for their performance and necessity. Eliminating duplicate functions and streamlining the flow of information will make them much more effective.
I agree a tax reform is long overdue, yet this doesn’t sound like a new idea to me, I’m pretty sure that it falls into the same category as the elimination of payoffs, lobbying and filling bills with irrelevant other bills.
But what I think bothers me most is that whenever I ask for a personal opinion, a personal solution approach to any of these obvious problems, I’m told that the TEA-Party supporters just point out the issues and trust in their chosen candidate (for some reason they seem to be exclusively Republican) to fix it. Having an own opinion, an own solution approach seems, in typical American fashion, unwanted and undesired. This is very sad, especially since freedom of speech is held so high in the US. I always thought that would include having an own opinion and own solutions to problems, even if they may not be completely realistic or the candidates running for office have different approaches. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case and once again confirms my experiences.
I had high hopes the TEA-Party movement would promote solution-based critical thinking, regardless whether someone supports them or not. Unfortunately critical thinking still seems to be based solely on party/movement opinion and truly independent thoughts are still unwanted…


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