There are two topics that will appear with some frequency in this blog and they overlap here: The TEA party phenomenon and the demise of the Chicago Tribune.
On Wednesday the Tribune’s Voice of the people section carried four anti-TEA party letters and one pro-TEA party letter. The negative letters featured the usual misrepresentations and the positive one was a weak effort. What was typical was the left wing bias as evidenced by the 4:1 ratio and the prominent placement of the negative letters complete with bullet points. The positive letter was last. Now this small sample does not prove my point but this is not an isolated example.
When the first Chicago TEA party rally was held in 2009 I attended. The well behaved crowd filled the Federal Plaza. I had a hard time seeing the speakers who delivered solid, intelligent speeches. They mostly represented grass roots organizations that have been doing good work for years: Americans for Prosperity and the Illinois Policy Institute. Arguments were laid out and solutions offered. There was no confusion as to what it was all about. The signs were clever and heart felt. I ran into Tribune columnist John Kass in the crowd, taking it all in. We had a short but interesting chat. He was greeted by lots of fans and he patiently and graciously accommodated them all.
That evening I eagerly watched the local newscasts. My blood began to boil as I watched one report featuring film of a nearly empty plaza, clearly hours before the rally and an anchor who “reported” that “dozens” of protesters had attended. The next day the Tribune buried the story on page 12 with the only quote coming from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who found it “despicable and shameful” that citizens would actually engage in peaceful protests. I’m not sure how she came to these conclusions as she did not attend any of the rallies. John Kass wrote a positive column about his experience and of course that appeared on page 2, providing ironic contrast and offering proof of the Tribune’s bias.
While I’ve pretty much given up on the Trib I did what I’ve done for years: I submitted a letter to the editor. I’ve had many printed over the years (some edited to the point of distorting my view) but a far greater number that didn’t make the cut. Now they also place a few in the online version where comments can be made. While I am required to use my real name the comments can be submitted by crackpots hiding behind aliases (see for yourself by following the link below).
The frustration this creates is one of the main reasons I decided to create this blog. I welcome readers to participate. I plan on expanding at some point to a full website platform and a special section will be reserved for Tribune. In the April 16th edition left wing columnist Eric Zorn wrote about attending the 2010 TEA party rally and being unable to discern what the attendees wanted. You can read it for free online. I find it funny that Eric admits he can’t figure this thing out. The mainstream media has tried to ignore this movement and when it became clear it was growing and not going away they attempted to belittle it with charges of racism. Please.
My letter appears below. You can use the link to see the comments it generated. I did like the title they gave it so I’ve used it to headline this post. I have much more to say about the TEA party movement. Look for it in upcoming posts.
My letter as it appeared in the online Tribune:
Tribune readers / letter writers are mystified by the TEA Party activists and so is columnist Eric Zorn who attended the tax day rally. President Obama thinks we should be “saying thank you.” Allow me to explain.
- We opposed nationalized medicine when it was “Hillarycare”. We are not racists.
- We understand math. The unfunded liabilities of the current entitlement programs exceed $100 TRILLION. Adding another will not shrink the deficit or lower costs.
- We understand that the housing bubble was fueled by liberal housing policies that forced banks to give loans to the unqualified, distorting demand. This helped no one and harmed many.
- We are opposed to runaway government spending whether it is passed by Democrats or Republicans.
- We were not thrilled with many of the policies of the Bush administration-but when our only options were Al Gore or John Kerry we made a difficult but obvious choice.
- We know that when government grows from 21% of GDP to 25% with projections to hit 30% in a few years that taxes will necessarily increase for everyone accordingly.
- We know that passing this massive debt to future generations is immoral. We also know that the consequences of our ongoing policies will likely result in severe inflation and other economic nightmares before we pass the baton.
Now we’re fighting for better candidates who will defend the constitution and promote fiscal sanity. We push back against both the far left and the far right for common sense solutions. We reject socialism whether the creeping variety that began with FDR and the launch of the now bankrupt Social Security program or the current galloping version that is attempting to impose government control over private sectors one by one.