Last week, we went to a tea party. Or rather a demonstration held by the East End’s chapter of the Tea Party on the highway in front of East Hampton Town Hall.
As with any political party, we understand that not all Tea Partiers are of the same shade and we believe they most likely draw from every segment of society that is angry about one thing or another.
What struck us was how a number of people seemed unaware of the incongruities between what they seemed to believe were their party’s principles and the role they actually want government to play in their lives; though granted, we talked to only a handful of people from the movement. We also will say that this is an affliction that is not unique to the Tea Party and we have seen organizations, conservative and liberal alike, whose rhetoric becomes a bit mangled when in the heat of battle.
We find it extremely disheartening when people who are in the employ of the government, and thus receive some of the best medical insurance packages in the country, denounce that same government for attempting to provide even a modicum of coverage to the rest of its citizenry. What was interesting to us is that many people seemed to ask that their government do more for them but tax them less.
Take for example the mother whose government insurance company refused to pay for a special chair for her daughter. There isn’t anything preventing this mother from purchasing private insurance except the prohibitive expense. However, the choice in insurance still exists and what she is asking for is that her government insurance company do more for her and her family, not less.
Although we would never begrudge someone their right to express their opinions in a public forum, we sometimes wish people would examine more carefully what it is they think they believe.