LETTER: Lee County needs a real Tea Party

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Tyrants have hijacked the GOP label and tainted the Tea Party brand. The boarding of ships in Boston Harbor was about fighting tyranny and resisting intimidation. What has transpired in Lee County is more instructive of the authoritarian and oppressive rule of King George III than the bravery of patriots. George III had one goal — the preservation of power. His tactics included bullying, intimidation and threats, retribution, and violence. Sound familiar?

Today’s self-anointed “patriots” resemble a pattern of abuse in families and extended families. This pattern focuses on control by a single, dominant individual. The pattern of thinking, like an ideology, is “always-never” and “right-wrong;” ends always justify the means. Schedules and goals must be secondary, and independent thinking is seen as a threat. Individual problems are the responsibility of the family. Anyone who does not follow all the rules, all the time, is expelled from the family, given a label, blamed for any dysfunction and harshly criticized. This pattern is readily discernible in authoritarian countries when those seeking freedom are always labeled “rebels.” In this nation, we call them patriots.  

Patriots are those who stand up bravely against an authoritarian rule. There is respect for the individual and an appreciation of the value of differences. They work to rally broad numbers of the people and readily accept them into their cause. The Founding Fathers used a process of conciliation and compromise that led to the beauty of our form of government. Their common concern was preventing tyranny and misuse of governmental power. Those who have appropriated their names would have been abhorred in Philadelphia — and Boston.

What Lee County needs is a real Tea Party.   

Keith Clark

Sanford