Retired editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Ross Mackenzie, writes a great piece at RealClearPolitics on the Tea Party movement. It is an absolute read for everyone.
Protest is the essence of America. It formed the nation. To say people attending these rallies are loons is to say the same of those who dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest British taxes.
Yet to read in much of what remains of the mainline press, many tea partiers at Tax Day rallies are nothing good — racists, fascists, gun nuts, gay-bashers, militant separatists. They are described as generally hateful, ignorant, unhinged, and of course extreme.
Most are none of those things. Rather, they are largely independent voters angry at relentless Democratic leftism, frustrated by big-spending Republicanism (primarily under Bush II), and outraged by the hubris, pretension, shameless immoralism, and patronizing arrogance so widespread among the lofties in both political parties.
In many cases, neither Republican nor Democrat can win without many votes from independents, whom many tea partiers typify. Your average tea partier will give his vote to whichever candidate, of whichever party, deserves it most.
That is why so many Democrats and Obamians (and so many mainline pressies who keep the Obamian tablets) so detest tea partiers — disparage them, call them names. It is also why some who see the risks tea partiers pose are seeking (in the words of one wire account) “to infiltrate and dismantle” the group “to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic, and moronic.” Still, from the president on down, leftists vilify and caricature tea partiers (a) at profound peril to the perpetuation of their ideology and (b) at political peril principally to themselves.
Go here to read the entire article: Tea Parties & The Inconvenience of Truth.