Remembering the dark side of the Tea Party Movement and what it could mean in November
America must be reminded about the little mentioned, and ugly aspects of the real Tea Party Movement and the threat they represent to all Americans who believe in an inclusive Democracy where all are equal, and all have a voice. It is also why November 2, 2010 represents a critical juncture in the history of our Republic, when all Americans must stand up to be heard in order to protect that which our Founding Fathers intended
On October 2nd, an important march took place in Washington DC. Under the auspices of One Nation Working Together, the event brought together a coalition of Americans who believe in jobs, affordable healthcare, protection from corporate malfeasance, and above all else, democracy. And unlike the recent Glenn Beck sponsored, Tea Party infested political travesty held at the Lincoln Memorial that touted a restoration of honor while excluding any and all that did not adhere to their fundamental religious and conservative political doctrine, the October 2nd march sought to provide a voice to all Americans who want to better their lives and restore fairness and equality to our nation.
Participating in the march was Midge Hough, who last November was instrumental in pulling back the curtain on the then relatively new Tea Party Movement that was raising a shrill and discordant voice during the healthcare debate taking place at the time. Attending a town hall meeting held by Congressman Dan Lipinski to thank him for his early support of the healthcare legislation then in the House of Representatives, she got up to tell a tragic story of losing her 7 month pregnant daughter-in-law Jenny, and her unborn grandchild due to a lack of health insurance, which effectively blocked adequate access to the primary and critical care she needed when she contracted pneumonia. It was then that she was heckled and derided by the Tea Party Patriots, a group led by a woman named Catherina Wojtowicz. The event was written about in the local newspaper, the Southtown Star and captured on a video that went viral on YouTube:
What followed was a chorus of condemnation of the Tea Party and it’s doctrine of hate and vitriol, as the attack was read about or seen by literally millions of Americans who, for the first time, saw the truly dark side of the Tea Party Movement. The leader of the Tea Party group responsible, Ms. Wojtowicz, was condemned by Keith Olbermann as a ‘Worst Person in the World,’ and the story was a featured segment on The Ed Show on MSNBC called ‘No Shame Tea Party.’
Amidst the recent primary euphoria of Tea Party candidates around the country, Ms. Hough decided to march on October 2nd to not only fight for the healthcare legislation that Republicans and their Tea Party cohorts want to take away from millions of Americans, which will result in a whole new generation of Jenny’s, but to also remind Americans of what is at risk if they remain complacent and allow the Tea Party and their extremist candidates to succeed in November.
While they would have you believe their governance will be about spending and big government, the reality is that the Tea Party manifesto is one that attacks any and all who do not follow in lock step with their beliefs and their goals, something we have seen all to clearly in recent days in Kentucky as supporters of Tea Party candidate Paul Rand attacked one lone female protestor with a different point of view. That recent episode in Kentucky only reinforces Midge Hough’s experience from last year, as well as many other cases of of Tea Party extremism and intimidation since the movement burst on the political scene such as the man with Parkinsons Disease demonstrating for healthcare reform who was attacked by Tea Party supporters, having dollar bills thrown at him as he sat on the ground because he could not stand. Then there are the many instances of vile and ugly signs and symbols proudly held by demonstrators at Tea Party events. And of course, who could forget the shocking Tea Party Convention in Nashville where speakers like Tom Tancredo set race relations back 50 years by calling for a return to Jim Crow America.
This is why the march on October 2nd in Washington DC was so important. America needed to be reminded about the little mentioned, and ugly aspects of the real Tea Party Movement and the threat they represent to all Americans who believe in an inclusive Democracy where all are equal, and all have a voice. It is also why November 2, 2010 now represents a critical juncture in the history of our Republic, when all Americans must stand up to be heard in order to protect that which our Founding Fathers intended; a country that embraces diversity, welcomes those of good intent who want to live among us, promotes equality for all, and allows for the free and civil expression of differing points of view.