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True extremists are on the left

Readers' Letters
by: L.E. BASKOW, Sarah and Dale Seale (from left), co-chairs of the Clackamas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, protest Democrats' plans to expand health-care insurance. The protesters rallied in March outside Democrat Kurt Schrader's Congressional town hall meeting in Oak Grove.

I found the publishing of Sean Doyle's opinion to be an affront to the idea that people are free to form their own political party based on any set of ideals they want (Tea Party's false front, anger hide its agenda, April 8). And the idea advanced by Mr. Doyle that the Tea Party is a party of hate is just an attempt to derail what he apparently sees as a threat.

The most hateful people in America these days are liberals/progressives/Democrats. They demand conformity to their ideas and call anyone who disagrees with them haters, racists or stupid. Much like the evangelical Christians they despise so much, they preach a philosophy that is non-negotiable and must be advanced. There is no room for disagreement when it comes to the leftist centerpiece ideas of global warming and redistribution of wealth, for example.

The ideas they espouse, taken to their logical conclusion, will lead to socialism, restricted freedoms and global governance. Similar forms of government have always failed in the past.

The Tea Party was formed as a reaction to what many see as a sudden and massive growth of the government just in the past couple of years. Aptly named after revolutionary tax protesters, the Tea Party exists as a response to the left, which has increased taxes so much lately and seeks to expand government even more. People who logically would have belonged to the Republican Party in the past believe the GOP has failed in its role as fiscal disciplinarian and is not effective enough to stop the march of the left.

I am not a member of the Tea Party, but I believe it has an important role to play in preventing the extremists on the other side. Indeed, we have become extremely polarized in recent years and almost dangerously so. But it is not simply the 'Tea Baggers,' as Mr. Doyle cynically called them, who are extreme. Maybe he should take a long look at his own party and its tactics, especially over the eight years before Obama. And he should keep in mind that we are still free to do as we please in this country, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else.

Dan Roberts

Rockwood

Tea Party critic did no research

In his rambling, ridiculous rant about the Tea Party movement, Sean Doyle failed to mention even once that the reason his article had even been given the light of day is the U.S. Constitution and specifically the First Amendment (Tea Party's false front, anger hide its agenda, April 8). How quickly (223 years) one forgets. However, there is no requirement that one actually have facts to back up the written word - that's where Mr. Doyle really shined.

So clearly does (his opinion piece) miss the mark, i.e., facts, that it just might have been designed to be the cover notes for the next great American novel. Had our self-assured and careful writer troubled himself to do some original research by actually attending Tea Party events, reading the principles and values of the groups from dozens of recent bestsellers or by speaking directly with any one of a host of local leaders, he might have come to a different, if not better, conclusion.

But Mr. Doyle was in such a rush to disparage, deride and discredit the entire 'grassroots' movement that his unsupportable poison pen virtually spilled onto the page. The Tribune's own Steve Law did a credible and fair job of describing the movement just two weeks ago (Tea Party ignites passions, March 18).

So just to put the record straight, Mr. Doyle, we in the movement are all just ordinary citizens of every race, color, gender and creed who are tired of sitting idly by and watching our country and our freedoms be systematically destroyed by our 'dear leader,' his administration and his sycophants in Congress. We are nonpartisan, nonviolent and nonfunded other than through donations. We love life, God, our country, the free market and the freedoms and rights protected by our Constitution.

What do you stand for, Mr. Doyle?

Art Scevola

President, Oregon 912 Project

Lake Oswego

Movement doesn't represent America

The most telling phrase from the story on the Tea Party 'movement' in the Tribune is Victoria Taft's comment that 'we need to impose our values' on whatever organization might have them (Tea Party ignites passions, March 18). No mention of democracy or liberty, just an authoritarian, enforced imposition of the frightening demands of a very small minority.

For all the claims of studying or representing the ideas of the founding fathers, the tea partiers seem to adhere to a value system closer to the beliefs of King George III rather than George Washington. The thuggish tactics on display appear to this reader more a modern American version of brownshirts in 1930s Germany than Revolutionary War militiamen fighting tyranny.

Did our parents and grandparents fight the Nazis in World War II - or indeed our current men and women in the armed forces go to Afghanistan to fight conservative religious fanaticism - only to have similar repressive concepts offered up as legitimate in the present tough times? I can only hope that these people remain disorganized for the good of our country and what it truly represents.

Ken Jamison

Northeast Portland

Liberals trying to control others

The anti-Tea Partiers are a lesson in hypocrisy (Tea Party ignites passions, March 18). They are always liberals who want to control everyone and deny that we are the land of opportunity. They are either wealthy and feel guilty or have their hand out - and always are surrounded by victims.

They are the enablers of the culture of victims/grievances that have become pervasive. They all rationalize their confiscation of another person's property as the end justifying the means, as if stealing from one and giving to another is caring. If you cared, you would want to stimulate autonomy and industry - not dependency and neediness.

Scott Butler

Northwest Portland

Opinion showed little originality

Not many original thoughts here, Mr. Doyle (Tea Party's false front, anger hide its agenda, April 8).

As a matter of courtesy, the Tribune should have saved everyone the trouble of reading your opinion piece and simply posted a link to the 'Huffington Post.'

Graham Parkinson

Vancouver, Wash.

Party has no corporate agenda

As an Oregon Tea Party member, Oregon 912, 912 Salem, and 912 Vancouver, Americans for Prosperity local and national member and GOP member, I choked with a moment of laughter when I read about our 'pro-corporate agenda' (Tea Party ignites passions, March 18). How you managed to interpret our wrath against corporate bailouts into a pro-corporate agenda is amusing.

We are for free market principles, not corporations with their tin cups out. If there are any corporations practicing free market principles that would like to co-sponsor us or our events, or donate in any way, we would consider it. Our mutual mission of liberty, limited government, personal responsibility, limited taxing and spending, and pride, respect and reverence for our founding documents marches forward.

Randi Kainz

Hillsboro

Tea Partiers unfairly painted as radicals

I have not been to a Tea Party rally, but do know several people who have attended. The people I know are everyday people trying to take care of their families and are sick and tired of government at all levels that cannot balance a budget, raises taxes or fees every year, and can always find money for a pet project that benefits a chosen few.

The tone of this article (Tea Party ignites passions, March 18) paints them as radicals. Those I know are not.

John A. Vieira

Northeast Portland

'Agitator' label used unfairly

When liberal groups protest what is going on in national or local government, they are practicing their First Amendment rights. But when Tea Party, Americans For Prosperity, 912 groups or other conservatives protest, they are labeled as agitators. In reality, they are also practicing their First Amendment rights.

As far as Americans for Prosperity, I am a member of the Multnomah County chapter. If AFP is a 'well-funded' organization, it is at the national level, because our chapter mainly asks if anyone wants to donate to the cause. But in the end, both at the national level and local level, we remain committed in educating others or protesting what is going on in our government.

If the Portland Tribune would give the same due to groups such as the mega-funded Move-On.org group - which receives direct funding from George Soros - as it did when speaking about the Americans for Prosperity, it would find that both groups have funding from large sources on both sides of the fence. But so what? It is a drop in the bucket compared with what our Congress and our president have spent in just over a year.

Frank Martin

Southeast Portland