Of tea, democracy and litmus tests

Dear Tea Party,

Over the course of the last month people all over the world have come out to protest the economic injustice that is our current reality. It reminds me of another group of people who felt disenfranchised and disappointed with the way our government operates and they did similar things.

So, I have to ask – why all the hate? Look, I will admit that I am very much in favor of the #occupyny protests and it is inspiring that these have spouted up in cities across the globe. It truly warms my heart and I will go to at least one protest (Something I rarely do. The last real protest I attended was in front of the Supreme Court in 2000). I also admit that I do not support The Tea Party. I think refusing to compromise and work with colleagues on the other side of the aisle is one of the biggest problems our Congress faces. We simply cannot threaten to shut th government down every few months. (It also costs a lot more because agencies cannot truly function well when they get funded this way.)

Having admitting all of that, your protests warmed my heart as much as these do. I love to see people get involved and make their voice heard by their government. The First Amendment is one of my favorite parts of the Constitution. It doesn’t only apply to people who agree with me. I may not like what you are saying but you have every right to.

The idea that we all have litmus tests for who we think has a right to protest and who does not is really troubling to me. When you start down the road that someone can arbitrarily decide who gets to speak and who cannot, well, that’s the day we lose one of the things that makes this such a great country.

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