Pundits from every corner of the United States are busy trying to describe the Tea Party movement.  Meanwhile, some members of Congress and the political class are eagerly attempting to drive the Tea Party Express. In fact, one former Congressional leader, Dick Armey, has written an entire book, “The Tea Party Manifesto” attempting to define exactly what tea partiers are thinking.
I don’t need an entire book to describe the phenomenon. We’re angry, and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them with an ire that burns like 10,000 suns.
I’m not just angry. I’m furious – enraged, even.
My irritation isn’t so much at any one candidate. In fact, it’s directed at all politicians and those who elect them.
It makes me physically ill to think of the conservative people I’ve helped earn seats at legislative tables with votes, with donations, volunteer efforts and with simple persuasive words. Elected officials have forgotten their principals and who they work for – not just at the national level, but at the state and local level, too.
They honestly believe they’re helping me by voting against my interests and those of their constituents.
From the Gardner City Council who explicitly chose to support a tax increase for its residents and business owners in part so city employees could have a raise all the while knowing that a tax increase on those in the private sector right now is a de facto salary cut for those residents; to the state legislators who believe Kansans deserve a 1 cent sales tax increase even though it isn’t funding increased services; to the federal government which continues to print money at alarming rates – either not realizing the results will include runaway inflation coupled with crippling debt our children and grandchildren may never be able to repay; to President Barack Obama who repeatedly helps himself to vacation after vacation courtesy of our pocketbooks.
On a daily basis, we learn of a new tax. In Mission, the city council will now tax driveways. In other municipalities, officials are considering charging those who cause accidents with all of the ambulance fees. (I might be OK with that, except – I thought our taxes were supposed to be paying for ambulances to make calls already. Where will those funds being diverted?)
In the meantime, the political class greases the wheels for special interests and to make political points. How else to explain a mosque to be built at Ground Zero in Manhattan while a church that was destroyed nearby on Sept. 11 is still trying to weave its way through bureaucratic red tape to rebuild 10 years later?
I want politicians gone – all of them. (I should clarify that by gone, I mean not in a knee-capping sort of way, but in an early retirement sort of way.)
Yes, politicians get a healthy dose of righteous anger from millions of Americans just like me.
Politicians earned their power by brainwashing people who are too stupid to think for themselves into believing that government can and should solve every problem. I’ve been disgusted throughout the last two years listening to whiners who want more, more, more from the government, and campaign advertisements promising (bribing) to deliver.
So yes, I’m angry at my friends, neighbors and even some of my (distant) family, too,  for falling for it. They want government to pay for their socialized healthcare, subsidized fuel and lower their mortgages. Health insurance is a “right;” Home ownership is a “right,” they tell me.
I disagree. Some things aren’t a right. Like spandex, they’re a privilege. The recipe for health insurance and for home ownership is as simple as the one for spandex. You earn the privilege of wearing spandex in public by working out – a lot – and eating right. So, too, you earn the privilege of health insurance and home ownership. Work hard. Make good choices and you too can own a home and have health insurance.
That’s what makes me angriest of all. The hard working people of this country don’t want handouts, because they realize they’ll have to pay for them.
They’ve earned their homes and their lifestyles through hard work and discipline. They’ve saved for their retirements. They’ve driven old beat-up cars and lived in less-than-grand homes so they could afford to send their kids to college or pay for health care. And when times were tight, they didn’t go to the government asking for a handout that likely would never come; they gritted their teeth and picked up side jobs. They made too much money for government assistance programs, but not enough to get ahead. And those are the people whose  pocket the government will pick when the people who didn’t save and didn’t work hard come calling for a handout.
Many of those same friends and neighbors demanding their “rights” to the issues du jour can’t name the vice president of the United States, a U.S. Supreme Court justice or list which amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives them the right to associate freely.
And as sure as I’m sitting here typing away, they’ll be at the polls in November helping elect some of the leaders of the (hopefully, still) free world.
I have some advice for those folks: Do the world a favor and stay away from the polls on election day. Turn on some entertainment television – something smart and comedic like Two and a Half Men – crack open a People or US Weekly Magazine and leave that messy voting to those of us in the Tea Party who’ve paid attention to the issues and candidates and earned the privilege of going to the polls.