Letter: Tea Party promotes love, not hate
I was stunned to read the comments by a fellow Gloucester citizen, S.J. Mehaffey, stating that the "Tea Party invites hate speech" and the nicest word (he) could think of to call those who may question Obama was "wingnuts." S.J. says that Tea Partiers must be bigots and racist since hate and ignorance exist in mankind, and since he has seen offensive signs at rallies, as reported in the news; thus, he concludes, we must support "hate speech."
S.J. admits that he bases his judgment of our group, not from his own observations, but from news reports—mainstream media, no doubt. He likely would not believe that there are those who intentionally display objectionable signs, and disrupt some rallies, specifically to discredit our group for the media cameras.
When did Americans decide that the freedom to speak up regarding serious concerns about what is happening to our country became "dangerous," as S.J. suggests? Why would he want McCain, or any other politician, to "shut down" the voices of millions of concerned grassroots Americans who want to be heard? And, since when is it appropriate to say people are "racist" simply because they disagree with a president who happens to be black? Should we then conclude that we must always agree with him in order to avoid this label? Of course not.
S.J. must have noticed that politicians are no longer listening to Americans. Does it seem appropriate that bills, too large to read, are voted on and passed, sometimes in the middle of the night and behind closed doors, without even proper consideration or debate? Does it not seem odd when we are told that only after a bill is passed will we be able to find out what is in it? These are bills that will alter the lives of every American, paid for with money borrowed from China, which will burden our children and grandchildren, or worse. I would like to suggest that S.J. might be surprised to find what gracious, kind and caring people Tea Partiers are if he would allow himself to base his decisions on first-hand observations, rather than biased news reports.
I would like to welcome S.J. Mehaffey to attend one of our Tea Party meetings to observe, first-hand, the inspiring messages we hear and deliver. Meetings are held in various Gloucester or Mathews venues the third Monday of each month, with locations advertised in the Gloucester Gazette. Our meetings reflect love, not hate, for our country, for our freedoms, and for the welfare of our fellow Americans, with a sincere concern for those who have allowed themselves to be misled by what they hear from the news. In fact, I would particularly like to invite S.J. to join us in October to hear Bishop E.W. Jackson, a dynamic, respected black bishop who, we are pleased to announce, will be speaking at our meeting on Oct. 18. Our message is truly love, of God, of family, of country, and of our fellow countrymen; surely, not hate.