I know tea-partiers will hate to hear this, but I’ve got to say it: tea partiers are a lot like the hippies of the 60s and 70s. This is not a criticism of either group – just an observation.
The hippies hated the government – they didn’t trust it, and felt it was too big, too powerful and too forceful with its power. If you listen to the likes of Glenn Beck, you’ll quickly learn the tea partiers feel exactly the same way. They don’t even want to give out information for the census! [Newsflash to tea partiers: if you have a credit card, own a home or file taxes, you have already matriculated TONS of information about yourself into the system that makes the census data look trivial.]
The hippies loved their country, I’m sure; however, their actions and words often sounded highly unpatriotic. They burned draft cards, rioted, and painted Nixon and LBJ into demonic figures. Their view of American history was also tinted with a pessimism and anger. Remember the teacher in Dazed and Confused?
"OK, guys, one more thing. Hey, this summer when you're being inundated with all this bi-centennial, Fourth of July, bru-ha-ha just remember what you're celebrating. That's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning aristocratic white males didn’t want to pay their taxes."I had a lot of teachers that felt that way. It was a far, far cry from the so-called “greatest generation” who glorified American history, and practiced an unquestioning allegiance to the flag. The tea partiers would like to associate themselves with that group, but I hate to break it to them – they have a lot more in common with the hippies.
They view the President as a minister of evil and Congress as a bunch of worthless fat cats – people to be feared and despised, not respected. To both the tea partiers and the hippies, protest and venomous criticism are the highest forms of patriotism.
My father was in the military during Vietnam, and literally had stones thrown at him by hippies when he was wearing the uniform. I’d like to go back to a time before all the cynicism and hatred. It’s a good thing to question the government, but there’s a line that you cross where it serves only to tear down and not build up. You may not like the President, you may not respect your representatives, but sometimes your shouts of protest can weaken our collective national pride.
Not too long ago, President Obama gave a televised speech to children across the country. My kids would have loved this – that seed of patriotism would have been planted in their young minds. To them, it was as if the president was speaking directly to their classroom, and they looked forward to it. Sadly, the speech was not shown at their school due to protests from parents! Thanks a lot. Now these students can grow up to distrust and hate their country just like mom and dad.
The hippie elite tore down any remaining crumbs of faith in The White House with Watergate. The conservative movement (i.e. proto-tea partiers) did the same thing with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I wonder if it was worth it to cheapen and denigrate the presidency in order to tar and feather a President for getting it on with an intern. The tea partiers would love to once again make a mockery of the Oval Office by dredging up dirt on President Obama (i.e. his affiliation with ACORN and the controversy over his birthplace). Thank God these tea partiers weren’t around during the Kennedy presidency – they would have destroyed Camelot with all of JFK’s extra marital shenanigans.
Sure, there’s an element of vehemence on both sides of the aisle – the tea partiers certainly aren’t the only voice of derision. But my point here is to make it abundantly clear to teapartiers – you may think you are heirs to The Greatest Generation, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. You make any hope for a renewed faith in our government impossible.