I know a lot of conservatives and Republicans. I talk with them on a regular basis, and I've come to realize that there is a profound difference between a Republican and a Tea Partier. For one thing, a Republican will listen, respect that you have an opinion, and may even have a discussion with you that involves compromise. They are respectful, thoughtful, and understand that they are one side of a coin. Tea Partiers, who I don't have as much experience with, are altogether different. They don't compromise, don't listen, and believe that shouting down an opponent is the same as winning an argument. They believe that theirs is the only solution, that any other position is akin to treason, and that anyone who doesn't agree with them is un-American and not worth the effort to reason with. They claim to have a profound belief in religion, and believe America was founded as a Christian nation, despite evidence and actions to the contrary. They claim the right to engage in armed rebellion against the government as a patriotic duty, and have somehow convinced themselves that such action against their countrymen is warranted by the Constitution itself. The Tea Partiers are an extremist sect of the Republican Party, and their ideology has seeped into the fabric of Republican doctrine for the last few years.
I respect Republicans. I respect their opinions, I enjoy discussing and debating policy with them. I enjoy speaking with them about issues, then shaking hands and letting our friendship stand. I enjoy hearing new perspectives and having a diplomatic discussion with Republicans, because it helps me gain a better perspective on the issues that I am concerned about and helps me to understand where a line of mediation may be found. I honestly and truthfully believe that Republicans want what is best for this country, as I do, and that together we can make this country stronger than it has ever been. I do not feel this way about any Tea Pary member that I know of. Their policies and principles are destructive to or nation and our way of life. Their beliefs are hypocritical, demeaning, nonsensical, dangerous, and irrational. They preach hatred as a sacred duty, violence as a constitutional right, vulgarity and a blatant disregard for others as ideological purity. These are not the values of America. These are the values of, forgive the harsh term, a terrorist group.
Agree or disagree all you want. I welcome that. But respect that I have my opinions and, seeing as how it's my blog, respect that I have the right to express them as I see fit. I welcome discussion, provided we listen to each other and can be respectful.