I have been a libertarian for many years. After the period of my youth during which politics held little appeal for me, I began to realize how much public policy affected my life. Seeing that gargantuan chunk of money forcibly extracted from my paycheck each month hastened my consideration of such matters. I realized that our government had morphed into something sinister and that neither major party was innocent of contributing to the perversion of our American ideal of liberty.
During the 90’s and early 00’s, my opinions were often regarded as novel. Most people had never seen a libertarian. I suppose I must have been like that one exhibit in the zoo you never see because it is off the beaten path and not that interesting–like some exotic sub-species of bandicoot. When the Tea Party movement began, I learned that there were a heck of a lot of fellow bandicoots out there. Visitors to the grand zoo of public policy discussion started wandering by to see us.
When Tea Party folks showed up in Washington last year to the tune of nearly a million people, we bandicoots got some attention–kind of. Unable to digest the idea that the majority of Americas still value liberty, the press was dumbfounded. I distinctly recall a heck of a lot of news saying that the movement was no news. Nothing going on here, folks. Just move along. Yet the more they tried to dismiss us as refugees from the corner marsupials exhibit, the more we became news. Big news. Bandicoots had become a threat.
Now, forgive me if I appear wantonly blind, but I have yet to see a dangerous Tea Partier. I have seen a few with views that I find a bit strained. I have seen some more angry than others. I have seen some who need some coaching in social skills. But what group does that NOT describe? Mostly, I see regular people from all creeds, colors. and walks of life gathering together to protest what they see as an invasion of their rights.
Sigh. It is far easier to incite a panic among the self-appointed elite than to address the real issues. For instance, I read this morning that the “radical right” (read “bandicoots gone wild”) held the record for conspiracy theories of late. Apparently, all we bandicoots believe that Obama and the rest of the liberal establishment are being directed by some sinister cabal of all-powerful and unnamed world-leaders who want to sweep in a world government based on socialism.
Actually, no. Most of us just think there is too much government and too little freedom. A few of us probably do believe in a world plot, but mostly we just think liberals are wrong (and that people in general are not disciplined enough to orchestrate a world conspiracy anyway).
If you agree with us, don’t sit still for that kind of nonsense. Explain, politely if at all possible, that you are not unhinged and that there really are some great reasons to be concerned about the direction our country has taken. If you disagree with us, fine. Just don’t underestimate us. We are about to become the main attraction. Come see us. Bandicoots are more interesting and less dumb than you think.
Terry wonders if The Onion really is America’s finest news source.