04/16/10 — Sticks and stones: Those who see the power always work to discredit the players

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Sticks and stones: Those who see the power always work to discredit the players

It is not all that surprising that many in the halls of power are characterizing those who gathered for the tea parties Thursday as right wing kooks, racists and nut jobs.

After all, it could be more than a little daunting to look out and realize that hundreds of people in cities across this country took time out of their day to let their government know how they feel about massive debt, leaders who won't listen and the change in America's goals for the future.

So there will continue to be those who will dismiss the message that is coming from these rallies, and who will ignore the overwhelming evidence that Americans voted for change in leadership and a fresh perspective, not a wholesale demolition of American values and this country's way of life.

But if you are truly serious about what you want to see in the coming years -- a reinforcement of what makes this country great, no apologies for being a leader in the world. If you want to see more personal responsibility and fewer government programs, and if you still think that freedom of any sort is worth fighting for, then there is no question that the sticks and stones of the naysayers should not keep you from speaking your mind and taking back your country.

There will be more name-calling in the next few months -- and there will be some people who will deserve the labels being assigned to them. There are radicals on the fringes in every group -- and those who are affiliated with or who support the tea party movement should not hesitate to boot them to the curb.

But even if there are those who are on the fringe, that does not mean that the majority's message is not worth hearing.

Criticism and internal challenges should not deter those who believe in the cause of making this country better -- just as it did not deter those who fought to win that freedom to speak and assemble and those who defend those freedoms today.

After all, the tea parties are merely a manifestation of what make this country great -- a diversity of opinions and the freedom to express them.

Published in Editorials on April 16, 2010 10:39 AM