By linking to The Mahablog in my previous post, I started a discussion with the Maha and her commenters. The basic gist of this conversation began like this:
Maja: Teabaggers don’t actually have a cause, just a lot of resentments; and their slogans and symbols are displays of tribal dominance only. Most teabaggers have no idea what the slogans and symbols mean.
Me: That is a mischaracterization of tea party types and/or Restoring Honor Rally attendees.
Maja: No it isn’t.
Me: Yes it is.
Illuminating discussion, is it not? Ha ha. If you want more specifics, follow the links.
After a couple of days, I reckon curiosity has killed this cat, for I went back to the Mahablog to see what else was said on that string. Oh sure, I found more insults (are you really calling me chicken because I didn’t watch that video?), but I also found appreciation for my civility, and some sincere enough questions.
Questions worth trying to answer.
First, the easy ones: “Why is anger a hobby now?”
Sorry for the confusion here. By hobby, I was referring to my blogging. I mean, really. What with my association with libertarianism, the tea party movement (“TPM”), and/or anything Glenn Beck, you should know that anger is not my hobby, but a full-time job! Ha.
“Where are your links to these ‘specifics’? Why don’t you care about facts?”
“For the millionth time, where were you when G.W. Bush and his administration were wrecking the country?”
Me, personally? Part of the time, I was serving in the U.S. Navy and unable to criticize my boss. (It’s like, a rule or something.) As for the rest of the time, I admit it: I was neglecting my civic duties. Ignoring politics. Like so many people on either side, or no side, of the political spectrum, I threw my hands up in disgust and turned my back on the whole sorry mess. I also foolishly trusted that, as long as I voted for the party which had principles nearer to mine, that would be good enough.
But my prior negligence does not invalidate my newfound diligence.
It seems like some lefties wish there were some sort of statute of limitations: “Sorry, but you weren’t politically active for five straight years of adulthood. Your activism authorization has expired.”
Okay, on to the more difficult questions:
“What I don’t know, is why the rally occurred. Why were you there?”
Reason #1: To prove to D.C. and the nation that I, the reasonable conservative, actually exist. That we exist, and in large numbers. Numbers larger than you previously realized. Numbers larger than we realized, prior to 12 September 2009′s Taxpayer March. Beck was right, we surround them. We just didn’t realize it at first. We were alone, and silent. But no longer. Which leads to . . .
Reason #2: to stop being silent. How many years have I held my tongue? Starting in high school, the lessons came that if you expressed a conservative view, you would be in for an attack. How often have I heard that conservatives are mean, stingy, don’t care about poor people, old people, black people, purple people eaters?
Now, these are just my personal reasons for attending. Beck had his own reasons for holding the Rally, in part to introduce his Black Robe Regiment and his 40 days and 40 nights challenge.
“What is it that made all those people get on buses and planes and come out to this event?”
A single word: fellowship. (I’ve thrown a lot of links on this post, but this one you should definitely follow.)
Some came primarily for fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is very important: some, like me, came for the fellowship with conservatives, regardless of religious beliefs. I’m talking about a big conservative tent, my peoples. Before the Obama/Reid/Pelosi trifecta, we conservatives were too easily divided into separate camps: the drug-legalizers, the religious right, the fiscal conservatives, etc.
No more. We are uniting now, in a common purpose: stopping the inexorable shift towards statism. Scott Brown, Chris Christie, and Joe Miller are only the beginning. I can see November from my house.
“What were you supporting?”
True color blindness, instead of identity politics. The free market. The idea that our rights come from God, not the government. Limitations on our ever-hungry federal government. The revival of constitutional understanding. The sanctity of life.
Plenty of facts and details in the links I’ve provided. Whether you actually absorb them is up to you, dear reader.
I gotta help the older boy with his homework. Get some laundry done. Get them outside to play. And fed. Oh yeah, there’s a bleepin’ hurricane on the way, too. Yikes!
So I must be quick.
Where you see dummies spouting pointless platitudes, I see my friends and neighbors, doing their best on the spot. I see regular, everyday folks, talking about the deficit, about fellowship, about getting away from political rulers and back towards representative government. I see a man who knows Glenn Beck was going to introduce something new and was very interested to find out (Black Robe Regiment, etc). I also noticed that many clips were cut short, in mid-sentence even.
Suffice it to say that we are seeing things with different eyes and hearing things with different ears.
The only questions are: who is truly listening? Who is truly blind?