Vicky Collins Online

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Kara’s Tea Party: Am I Missing Something Here?

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Eddie is one of my very closest friends.  We have known each other since we were teenagers and knew of each other even longer.  Our fathers were best friends and Polish immigrants who met in London following World War II and came to America on the Queen Mary together.  When I lived in Connecticut and Eddie was in New York we hung out together every other weekend.  We attended each others weddings.  We love each others spouses and parents and the relationship between our families is continuing now for a third generation.  When I travel to New York I stay with Eddie and if he ever would go west of New Jersey I would roll out the red carpet for him in Denver.  Eddie and his wife, Mary, have raised two incredible kids and I hope my children will be as worldly and successful.  I am blessed to have Eddie and his family in my life.   

As close as Eddie and I are, we are on completely different wavelengths politically.  He is very conservative and admires Sarah Palin.  I am very liberal and support Barack Obama.  We love to debate and adore each other despite our points of view.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he sent me a message on Facebook saying “My daughter is KICK-ASS.”  He was proud because Kara attended a Tea Party Rally in Washington D.C. and made an impromptu speech.  She talked about the dollar and how it is losing its meaning because it is no longer earned but rather allocated (she said stolen) through government programs which we are taxed to support.  Kara standing up for the populist Tea Party and shouting out for fiscal responsibility has shaken me.  Until now it has been easy for me to ignore the protesters because they look nothing like me.  I cringe when I hear Sarah Palin’s braying and  see people who remind me of my father-in-law who lives in small town Iowa when I scan the crowds.  If Kara is jumping on the bandwagon it’s time to pay attention.  I need to ask if I’m missing something here?

Another good friend who also shook his head over my politics used to tell me “If you’re young and you’re Republican you have no heart.  If you’re old and you’re a Democrat you have no head.”  So what was Kara doing at a Tea Party Rally?  I’m not certain I can dismiss this movement anymore as a bunch of Republican extremists.  If the message is making sense to smart college educated kids like Kara then perhaps the Tea Party is gaining the kind of traction that will make a difference at the polls in November.  I hope other liberals like me who look at the Tea Party as a movement that clutters the airwaves with hate speak and reaches out to the disenfranchised few and their birther friends, ask themselves if they’re missing something too.  And when they start getting uncomfortable like I am now, when they start realizing that maybe this is a party to be reckoned with, then maybe they can stand up like Kara did and make some noise.

To learn more about Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

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Author: Vicky Collins

Vicky Collins is a freelance television producer and journalist based in Denver, Colorado with a diverse portfolio of projects that including network news, cable programming, Olympic sports, corporate and non-profit videos. She is also an accomplished writer and photographer who is particularly interested in world travel and issues of global poverty. Some of her most satisfying assignments have been covering disasters, working in the slums of developing countries and telling stories of people who show great courage in the face of adversity. She has been in all 50 states and on six continents and many of her television stories and photos are posted on her website at www.teletrendstv.com. To contact Vicky Collins directly email vicky@teletrendstv.com or tweet @vickycollins.

One thought on “Kara’s Tea Party: Am I Missing Something Here?

  1. Vicky, I’m so glad I was able to inspire you to look at an issue with a new perspective! I actually just submitted an opinion piece about my experience at the Tea Party in Washington to my school newspaper. I went to Washington to see the Tea Party for myself, having heard rumors about the type of people who were Tea Partiers (I suspect you heard similar rumors, as indicated in your blog post).

    I am an original Tea Partier from when the movement started last year to protest the government bailouts. Back then, the Tea Party was a bipartisan movement focused on one particular issue. I was saddened by the Party taking place in Washington this year; it was no longer the Tea Party I knew and loved, but a bandwagon the neoconservatives of the Republican party jumped on and took over.

    The video clip you saw of me speaking was from the REAL Tea Party happening below the steps of the Capitol–no media was there to document the speeches of everyday Americans from all over the country, but perhaps there should have been, for that was the flavor of the original movement: no party lines, no crazy ‘Impeach Obama’ people, no Bible toting vote mongers, just people who thought the government was getting too big for its britches and weren’t afraid to say something about it.

    After listening to my fellow Americans sharing their varied opinions on the subject of big government, my friends and I went to see the ‘main’ Tea Party–the one attended by a quarter of a million people and several news crews in the shadow of the Washington Monument. These people were more akin to the ‘small town Iowa’ crowd you anticipated. We left feeling shortchanged. We had come for dialogue and found card carrying members of the Sean Hannity fan club instead.

    I’m glad I inspired you to not take what you hear for granted, for it is that concept that led me to investigate and make up my own opinion about the Tea Party in the first place.

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