I’m not a Tea Party person.  I’m more of a Coffee Party person.

A Tea Party “setting” is one where you’re more likely to hear a lot of shouting going on, with very little listening being done.  That was plain to see in 2009 when town halls were held on “Obamacare.”

And, just so no one says I don’t take a look at the shouting being done AT the Tea Partiers, here’s this …

Although, I must say, more of what I’ve seen from the Tea Party are people who are like this …

It’s good that the gentleman at the end of that video was almost apologetic for the shouting being done by his fellow Tea Party supporter, but …

What we’ve ended up with are Tea Party representatives like Illinois’ Joe Walsh …

From the Albuquerque Tea Party on Tax Day

When the town halls to discuss health care coverage were going on in 2009, with all of the shouting, I made it a point to spend a lot of time listening to conservative talk radio (which is really all they have here in Utah when it comes to non-sports talk radio) to hear what was happening —  Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, the works.  Verbal “high fives” were exchanged by the hosts with callers who were proud to say they disrupted what was supposed to be a civil discussion to talk and share information about one of the most important issues to face this country in our lifetime.  The callers were proud to say they disrupted a civil process, and they were rewarded with praise from their heroes.

The shouters were encouraged to shout.  The shouters were encouraged to disrupt.  The encouragement was coming from the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, etc.

middle class too big to fail
middle class too big to fail (Photo credit: Vince_Lamb)

I knew then and there that there had to be a better way.  And then came along the Coffee Party movement.  People could have differing viewpoints, but shouting out opposition and drowning out opposing voices was strongly frowned upon.

If you went to a Coffee Party gathering, you’d hear dialogue more like this …

What kind of America do we really want?  Do we want an America where the “heroes” are people who encourage others to drown people out?  Or do we want an America where our “heroes” are those who’ll respectfully listen to both sides, discuss issues civilly, and go about working out problems in a rational, reasonable, civilized way?

That decision is getting closer.

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2 thoughts on “Moving toward Election Day: Letting the people speak

  1. I had not heard of the coffee party before. I like the idea of a more civil discourse and listening, and taking collaborative effort forward. I’m hoping whomever ends up being elected that we start to have a more cohesive government and civilized leaders. Thanks for bringing this other movement to my attention.

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