Politics become series of movements
With the recent rise of the tea party movement, a very disturbing trend has emerged on the political left. All across liberal TV programs and Web sites, anti-tea party activists have pointed out misspellings on tea partiers' protest signs or inappropriate comments shouted by tea partiers, and used them as ammunition to declare the entire tea party movement stupid and racist. Such inferences are illogical and downright offensive.
Ultimately, the only thing that all tea partiers have in common is the fairly temperate belief that government spending is too high. This leaves a rather large subset of the population — some of whom are more intelligent and levelheaded than others. If one just cherry picks the worst members of a group to display to the public, that group can be made to look pretty bad, as is precisely the case with the liberal representation of the tea party movement.
Here are a few questions to ponder for anyone with views anywhere on the political compass: Can you honestly say that you are proud to associate with every person with beliefs similar to yours? Does everyone with your political views speak for you? Would you like to be labeled a racist because someone who shares your views says something racist?
After pondering these questions, the injustices in the liberal characterization of the tea party should be apparent. It is nothing more than a gross generalization based upon a small and intentionally biased sample. In fact, thinking in generalizations forms the basis for racism, of which liberals claim to be the greatest enemies.
We are moving toward an era where people see politics as a series of movements, rather than as a series of issues. Political views should be shaped by a cost-benefit analysis on an issue-by-issue basis. Instead, many seem to have just chosen whichever faction they thought would give them the image they want, with little regard to the issues themselves. When people just "join a team" like this, it creates an irrational mob mentality where members feel the need to trash the other side at all costs. Admittedly, many Conservatives as well as Liberals are guilty of this group thinking, as the tea party itself is a sort of mob-like "movement." However, the absurd generalizations made about the tea party by its opposition represent the quintessential example of illogical "us versus them" politics.
As a disclaimer, so as not to appear hypocritical, I would like to point out that not all Liberals have made unfair generalizations about the tea party, and to those who have not, that is commendable.
Matthew Simcha is a School of Arts and Sciences junior.