Tags: tea | healthcare | obama

TEA Parties Show Citizens Losing Faith in Government

Wednesday, 02 Sep 2009 02:34 PM

By Ralph Hostetter

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When a government extends itself beyond the base of the beliefs and moods of its constituency, it fails to govern effectively. The governed can no longer look to their government for the direction and services governments are meant to provide.

When such a situation occurs, our government of the people and for the people must resort to its very base — by the people.

Government, as generally accepted in America today, has reached a point where citizens are beginning to believe that government no longer represents them.

Government has become an impersonal entity that seems more interested in serving itself rather than the constituency that elected it to office.

This general feeling or attitude seems to have manifested itself in movements across the nation that start at the very base of our society — with the people.

The most visible of these movements identify themselves as "TEA parties," wherein "TEA" stands for "Taxed Enough Already!" Present day TEA parties are not as defiant as the famous Boston Tea Party, when bales of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor by the early Massachusetts colonists in protest against a tax on tea levied by the King of England at the outset of the American Revolution in 1773.

Present day tea parties are cropping up across the nation, completely independent of each other, up to this point. Sites on the Internet are encouraging others to extend tea parties to their own communities.

In California, Mark Williams is organizing a Tea Party Express, a bus tour set to cross the nation, starting in Sacramento and ending in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12, where other groups will join for a three-day march on the nation's capital to protest healthcare reform.

The caravan of vehicles will feature two 45-foot buses along with several RVs and a contingent of SUVs and support vehicles. Heading east from California, it is planned to: "unify, educate, and most importantly, to encourage Americans to continue their opposition to deficit spending, government-run healthcare, and irresponsible bailouts." The tour is being funded by Our Country Deserves Better, a conservative political action committee.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have sealed his fate in the upcoming 2010 general election when, in a moment of pique, he said he wanted to see the largest newspaper in his state, the Review Journal, "go out of business." Reid is already trailing his possible Republican opponent, Danny Tarkanian, by 11 percent in a 49 percent to 38 percent match-up.

Congressional office holders are becoming much more aware of the restiveness of the electorate and are responding with "town hall meetings" where they exert some measure of control.

In spite of the fact that the specific office holder is in a position to exert his or her influence at the town hall meetings, the opposition is becoming more vocal and in many instances downright unruly. Police were called to evict a particularly boisterous heckler in one such meeting.

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are plummeting. On Jan. 9, his approval rating was 65 percent, and in less than eight months that figure dropped to 45 percent.

The Presidential Approval Index on the Rasmussen Report in detail shows on Sept. 1, 30 percent strongly approved while 41 percent strongly disapproved. Overall approval worked out to be 45 percent and disapproval was 53 percent.

As the president’s popularity drops, his approval rating follows, and to a point his ability to govern will be substantially weakened.

This means simply that the agenda of change on which he campaigned will be substantially weakened as well.

His insistence on a national healthcare program, which he continues to vociferously support, will reduce the effectiveness of his adm7inistration.

E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by e-mail sent to eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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