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The rise of the 'tea party

April 16, 2014
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Being born in 1942, my life experiences lead me to astonishment at the rise of the "tea party."

Our government provides the opportunity to express our will with both the Congress and the president on a regular basis, and the government we have is the one we selected.

In my lifetime, our government led us out of the Great Depression and made jobs through public projects that are still paying dividends today. Our government organized us to fight and win the war in Europe and the Pacific. After it was won, it wisely began the Marshall Plan which reconstructed Germany and Japan, so that we avoided another repeat of the past, and returned them to staunch allies.

When our soldiers came home, our government instituted the GI Bill to bring our college educated ranks from 2 percent to 20 percent, greatly enlarging our middle class. Our government ended the shameful Jim Crow laws that tried to make a permanent underclass for others to exploit. It began the Social Security program that changed the prospects of all who faced the last pay check in retirement. Medicare saved millions from having to fend for themselves when they most needed help as they aged.

Our government took us to the moon, and along the way invested in transistors, and computers and the Internet, it invested in medical science ending polio and many other diseases. It built a national highway system. lately, our government saved the banking system from another collapse, saved the American auto industry, tracked down and brought justice to Bin Laden and recognized that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that didn't provide any system of universal healthcare, and is attempting to fix this. So far despite big problems and unreasonable opposition, another 9 million Americans have benefited from the affordable health care plan since it went into affect, and we have taken a giant step toward providing affordable healthcare for all.

The "tea party," as far as I can tell, appears to be a coalition of unreconstructed confederates who want to fight the government over emancipation, religious zealots who feel the need to tell everyone exactly what God wants them to do, gun nuts who feel impotent if they can't bring lethal force to public places, fat cats who don't want taxes or have any regulations that might interfere with unbridled greed.

We don't need smaller government or bigger government, we need good government, but all I see from tea party types is anger or hate of anything that might be an attempt to benefit the common good.

Michael Schreibman

St. James City



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