These are some thoughts to a post that was recently made on Facebook as part of the comments to some thoughts by my old college fraternity brother, J.D. “Dusty” Rhoades (who by the way is a kick-ass mystery writer even though we’re not often on the same wave-length politically. His website is http://www.jdrhoades.com and his blog is http://www.jdrhoades.blogspot.com. I recommend them!)
Dusty’s original comments centered on the recent poll by CBS News (which has a history of being REALLY fair to conservative issues!) that most “Tea Party members” saying that their taxes were “fair”. Dusty mused “Anyone care to hazard a guess, then, what they’re REALLY pissed off about? Could it be, maybe, that what the partiers are really up in arms about is that the wrong guy (or the wrong color guy) won?”
Could it be, maybe….SATAN??? Just kidding but although there are some ignorant asses in every group that would probably cite that to others with a nudge and a wink I find it hard to believe that people that would have probably run to the polls to vote for Condi Rice or Colin Powell are more concerned about President Obama’s skin tone than his politics. Are they mad that the “wrong” political viewpoint won? Ah…there’s the rub!
But, let’s look what one commentor wrote: “It makes me crazy when people say their taxes are too high, as they drive their late model cars on government maintained roads and send their kids to public schools. I’d much prefer paying 10 or 20% more in taxes for National Health Care, (which my English in-laws say they’d never give up) then to lose everything because we can’t pay medical bills…
And what does it mean to love freedom? Is loving freedom being angry all the time and looking to pick fights with yellow-bellied liberals like me? Doesn’t freedom mean you’re free to be a Muslim and a Socialist? Or an atheist for that matter?”
No, freedom is the ability to argue (not “pick fights”) with “yellow-bellied liberals” when the need arises. I also enjoy debating with anyone else that holds different views from me. Were I not convinced of the validity of my views then there would be no need for me to have them and I’d just smile and nod a lot.
So, if you acutally put money into the economy (by having a “late model car”, which I don’t) then you have no reason to be concerned about taxes? And anyone that thinks there’s a lot of waste in state and federal spending of tax funds and speaks out against it is a narrow-minded bigot and they are only against the President because he’s not a 100% “white” person? And if you disagree about how ineffectually and wastefully some taxes are spent you shouldn’t utilize any resouces/facility funded by taxes? Concepts like that are at the very center of why some of these folks are mad. To paraphrase Dusty, “It’s OK if you’re a Democrat/Liberal” seems to be what I hear from the other side of the aisle.
Roads have been paid for by taxes since the first cobblestone was laid centuries ago so I don’ t think that concept is what makes some people mad. Schools have been paid for by taxes since the first days of scholasticism. I am required to pay taxes to support schools. If I’m a tax-payer, why should I pay taxes to support schools and spend money I do not have to send my kids to private school? My wife and I chose not to home-school because we didn’t want our children to grow up in isolation. However, it does make me mad to see schools slighted in funds or required to use funds on less than effective un-funded federal an state mandates that in the end hurt the brightest and most inovative students and the lowest most needy students the worst.
“Well I would pay more money for a health care system.” Great. You are entitled to that opinion but that opinion is also values statement. Not everyone wants to pay part of everything for everyone else. If I want to give away more than 10% of my income to a charity or a church then I’m backing up my values with my money and my actions. If you TAKE 10% from me and tell me “We’ll do what we want to with this for who we decide, thank you very much!” then some people will not hold that in very high regard.
Does freedom mean you can be a Muslim? Sure. It’s obvious why many people today seem to throw that out (since everyone knows that Conservatives, evangelical Christians and other people that didn’t vote for Obama see every Muslim as being a wide-eyed, explosive-laden radical hell-bent destruction). The truth is there have been Muslims in the United States for many years along with many, many other religious groups. Show me a major city and we can identify any number of mosques along with synagogs, temples, halls and other places of worship. The fact that there have been more shootings and violence in Christian churches in recent years than in these other places of worship seem to indicate that the Freedom of Religion in the United States is still alive (although some people’s desire to see “Freedom FROM Religion” does continue to pose problems in the courts.)
Does freedom mean being a radical Muslim that supports violence and terror? No. It also doesn’t mean you can be a radical Skin-head, Aryan, Militia, etc. of the “home-grown” terror variety (Oklahoma City) either. You have the freedom to be a Socialist (although the debate on whether the tenants of socialism are compatible with freedom can be made).
In many cases, anger comes from the belief that a person’s views and opinions are not respected or counted as important to others. Have Conservatives, when in power, held this same contempt? In many cases, yes. But as the old but valid saying goes, “Two wrongs do not make a right”.