People Are Discontent

Posted on May 7, 2012 by

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By Kyle Taylor

Staff Writer

 

People are discontent. There is a hotbed of emotion flowing into the political discourse of our times.

 

The Occupy movement that began on September 17, 2011 garnered the international support of liberals and moderates as city streets throughout the nation (and world) were flooded with college students, union organizers, intellectuals, unemployed workers, and more. Most of us are also aware of a smaller, conservative approach to governmental protest and reform: the Tea Party movement. The Tear party stared springing up in 2009 and has grown slowly since then.

 

During the afternoon hours of April 15, Worcester’s very own faction of the tea party association held its annual gathering of conservative and libertarian expression.

 

“Don’t tread on me” flags waved to the bystanders and pedestrians as people strolled by or drove through the Lincoln Square collective. Live music played loudly in the background as the event got underway. Tables selling and giving away political tee-shirts, books, creative literature, and pamphlets were abundant.

 

The occasion, however, focused less on the stages of the pamphleteers and more on the messages sent from the speakers of the podium. Among those that delivered rhetoric were Libertarian presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, philosopher and author of Capitalist Solutions Dr. Andrew Bernstein, and Brandeis University student Mary-Alice Perdichizz.

 

Each individual speaker addressed different topics pertaining to the movement, whether it was the bias of politics on college campuses, American exceptionalism, health care, over-taxation, overspending, the need for individual and economic liberty, or false accusations of racism.

Sentiments flowed through the hearts of the people as each speaker was able to deliver their piece with detail and enthusiasm.

 

Gary Johnson brought the Libertarian points to the platform, explaining the concepts of a universal “fair tax”, bringing an end to the war on drugs, and an anti-militarization platform. Dr. Bernstein brought his unique ideas to the convention by discussing education and the benefits of privatized schooling, stressing America’s history with literacy and the decline thereof due to the widespread standardization of our public school systems.

 

A rallying point of the tea party activists was the loss of individual liberty and identity, with particular pertinence to the economic sector.

 

“Do you remember the fun you had as Americans in starting a small business and

the excitement of being your own boss?,” echoed the moderator at one point in between speeches. “Do you remember the fun you had in being the captain of your own destiny?”  The attendees expressed their agreement in between statements, recognizing and identifying with the collapse of the individual’s ability to pursue their personal fiscal paths in these trying and recessive economic times.

 

Despite what many may commonly think, the tea party is not a rich man’s outlet for activism. Most of the people in attendance were common, “every day” people with a genuine concern for the future well-being of their communities and America as a whole. Ideas may be drastically different between the right and the left, but it was clear to see that each individual at both the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party gathering contained a set of views that were entirely unique to them. In other words, there was no “mass mentality”, but rather people who contain their own sentiments within the broader umbrella of a certain political bracket or affiliation.

 

Mike Eisenberg, creative writer and author of Full Asylum, has been involved with the Worcester Tea Party almost since its inception. When asked what the Tea Party’s primary goal is, he explained that “limited government, low taxes, and sticking to the constitution” are nearly universal to all who participate in the forums of discussion. He also went on to say that “we are a movement of individualists and everyone you see here will give a different answer (to that question).”

 

After Eisenberg assisted in affirming the fact that nearly everyone at any political rally or protest contains individual questions and beliefs, the rain set in and slowly the tents came down and the participants packed their things.

 

In working and investigating the tones, beliefs, and ideas of both right and left wing protestors and organizers, it was also apparent that neither grouping (for the most part), young nor old, neither black nor white, wants detrimental things to happen to America or the world entirely.

 

Most people simply want what they believe to be best for themselves, their families, their communities, their country, and so on. It is simply a matter of how we reach those solutions that divides us all in the end. As the country continues to divide along party and theoretical lines, we continue to wonder how we, as Americans, will solve the problems that we encounter in a hostile, modern world.

 

 

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