Unfairly Tarring The Tea Party|
October 29, 2013
Liberals think they have discovered the 21st-century version of the Ku
Klux Klan. According to many left-wing Democrats, the Tea
Party is now the home for white
supremacists and rabid racists. In the wake of the partial government shutdown,
the liberal ruling class is determined to permanently smear — and destroy —
their conservative critics. Their weapon: The ugly politics of race.
Rep. Alan Grayson, Florida Democrat, recently sent an email to supporters
with the image of a burning cross on the letter “T.” The letter stood for Tea
Party. Along with the image was an interview that Mr.
Grayson conducted with MSNBC host, the Rev. Al
Sharpton, in which the Florida congressman said, “At this point, the Tea
Party is no more popular than the Klan.” Mr.
Grayson’s vile email sparked a public firestorm — even among many of his
Yet he refused to apologize. Rather, he made a direct connection between
peaceful citizens who champion the Constitution and racist thugs responsible for
lynching countless blacks. “One could go on and on, because there is
overwhelming evidence that the Tea
Party is the home of bigotry and
discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation,” Mr.
Party-equals-KKK narrative is becoming a chorus on the
left. MSNBC host Chris
Matthews recently asked if
members of the Tea
Party “still count blacks as
three-fifths of the vote?” Actor Chris
Noth opined that the government
shutdown was a result of the “highest level of racism” by House Republicans. In
Noth openly called for violence.
He said, “Every Tea
Partymember should be horsewhipped.” Another MSNBC host, Chris
Hayes, used a graphic on his show depicting Republican Sens. Ted
Paul and Marco
Rubio as kings in a deck of cards
with the obvious implication: KKK.
For radical progressives, small-government Republicans are not just political
opponents, but mortal enemies who must be dehumanized into racist vermin.
The left’s latest tactic is not simply demagogic and vulgar. It has a deeper
problem: The narrative has no connection — none — to reality. It is completely,
almost laughably false. The Tea
Party grew to national prominence
due to its opposition to the president’s economic stimulus and Obamacare. In
particular, it is a movement of concerned citizens that opposes nationalized
health care and runaway government spending. Their two goals are to repeal
Obamacare and to confront America’s crushing debt. That’s it. They think the
size and scope of the federal government has grown too large. It must be scaled
back. Otherwise, America will go broke.
The issue is not even ideological — it’s basic arithmetic. A nation that runs
annual deficits of roughly $1 trillion, has a $17 trillion public debt and more
than $90 trillion in unfunded government liabilities is destined to collapse
financially. The question is not if, but when. We are sitting on a ticking debt
bomb. Instead of confronting this harsh reality, liberals prefer to engage in
the politics of personal destruction. It’s classic bait and switch: Demonize
critics in order to obfuscate colossal failures.
For Democrats, however, there is an even deeper problem. Contrary to myth, it
was the Democrats who were the party of the KKK,
slavery and Jim Crow. Until the late 1960s, the Deep South was a bastion of
Democratic rule. It was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who supported the
Confederacy and secession. In fact, the GOP was formed to prevent the expansion
of slavery into the territories. It was Republican President Abraham Lincoln who
fought to preserve the union. It was Republicans who freed the slaves. Moreover,
racist Democrat-controlled state governments imposed segregation in the Old
South. Democrats were the ones who formed and joined the KKK.
They were the grand wizards who ordered the lynchings and beatings of blacks. A
greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats in Congress voted for the civil
rights legislation of the 1960s. In short, liberals are burdened by the ugly
legacy of race and white supremacy.
It is bizarre, bordering on the perverse, that a movement that believes in
limited government, individual rights, equality under the law and a colorblind
society is called racist by the very
party and ideologues responsible
for the most heinous sins in American history. Liberals are resorting to slander
and crass emotionalism because deep down, they know one simple truth: The Tea
This is a sign of desperation. Progressives are unable to use logic or evidence
to defend President Obama. Hence, the left can only do one thing: rage against
his critics. Mr.
Grayson and his ilk embody the
moral and intellectual bankruptcy of modern liberalism.
Like America, it is running on empty. Tea
Party Republicans should take
comfort. Being called a racist by liberals is a badge of honor. It means our
ideas are winning.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio host on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.