Charlotte Tea Party 2010: video and a personal response
Posted on 16 Apr 2010 by Justin Ruckman
Tyndall and I stopped by the tax day Tea Party rally/protest outside city hall yesterday, and caught up with some familiar faces we saw last at the Federal Reserve protest over a year ago.
The biggest common sentiment I gathered from the crowds and speakers this year was frustration with the relative perceived ineffectiveness and ultimate similarity of both the Democrat and Republican parties. “Two sides of the same coin”, as I heard it described more than once.
Their solution (or at least the solution being advocated by many): GOOH. You say it like “go” and it stands for “get out of our house”. It’s a “non-partisan plan to evict the career politicians from the U.S. House of Representatives” this November, and it’s growing in popularity.
Now don’t get me wrong, this kind of conversation and activity is essential for a healthy democracy, or republic, or whatever it is we have here in the US of A. And a reboot of our elected officials in Washington might do us a lot of good. That said, it also might set us back a decade or so while all the freshman play catchup. And even still, that might be OK, considering the state of things.
But I can’t help but wish for less finger-pointing and blame-mongering at events like these, and hope for more reasoned, actionable solutions presented fairly and honestly with passionate conviction instead of aggression and hate. Though I don’t want to go on record saying this was all hell and brimstone. Many people, like the two ladies we interviewed in the video above, are simply overwhelmed with concern for the country and our future.
In truth, and this is obviously just my personal opinion — but in truth, everything happening right now is as much my fault, and your fault, and everyone else’s fault, as it is anyone’s fault in Washington. We’ve all created a society so immeasurably and inconceivably complex that, despite our best intentions, is suffering from some major, lifestyle-altering growing pains. Or maybe it’s arthritis from old age, or debilitating shortness of breath from lung cancer. We live in a society too large for any one person, or one party, to be accountable for the sum of our woes.
We won’t get anywhere as a country, as humans, until we accept responsibility on a personal level. Admit that, if it were us in office, we probably couldn’t do much better, and look at the real source of our problems: selfishness; pride; dishonesty; short-term animalistic, reward-based thinking; and a framework of government designed for an age where you couldn’t send pictures of a plane crash in the Hudson to the entire world seconds after it hits the water; or measure environmental, economic, and behavioral data with such impressive resolution and at such a tight intervals, that by sitting on your couch, staring at a glowing rectangle in your hand or lap, you could feel the pulse of an ever more-connected global population reaching out and looking for answers, and often, the questions themselves.
There’s no us and them anymore. There never really was. At this point it’s not a matter of fault. It’s a matter of solutions.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that these kind of events are essential if ultimately a drop in the bucket. For many people, they taste too bitter to ever be taken seriously, and engender too much animosity to affect immediate progress.
But it’s a start. And that’s a Good Thing. And this sinner will probably be at the next one, for whatever it’s worth.
Curious what your thoughts are, if any.