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An Open Letter to the Tea Partiers

By       Message Allan Goldstein     Permalink
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You are disgusted by our soaring deficits; you are sure it's just a matter of time until the IRS breaks into the kids' bedroom and confiscates Missy's piggy bank.

But the deficit isn't political, it's structural. We could cut everything besides Medicare, Medicaid, the Military and Social Security to zero, not a dime for anything else, and we'd still be facing record, crippling deficits in the not too distant future.

Those deficits weren't created only, or even mainly, by Democrats. The accumulated national debt hadn't reached a trillion dollars when Ronald Reagan became president; by the time he left it was nearly three trillion. Under Bill Clinton it grew about another twenty percent, under George Bush 43, it doubled.

I'm not saying the deficit was caused by Republicans, I'm only saying that the national debt is an equal opportunity employer.

The deficit won't be tamed by only one party, it'll take both, working together. National security cannot be achieved by one party, it takes both, working together. Every single thing you want cannot be achieved by merely one party. It will take both, working together.

If you want the Tea Party so succeed, to have a real voice in American politics, strong enough to make actual American policy, that should be your message. Work together.

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If you do that, maybe you can make a difference. If you don't, your anger will be used and your trust abused until you're frustrated clear out of your anger into defeated apathy.

Go ahead: hold the president's feet to the fire. The progressives do it all the time. But remember he is your president, not some alien being with fire-breath, horns and a copy of Mao's Little Red Book where his Bible should be.

You're angry. We're angry. An underemployed nation involved in two wars, a foreclosure crisis, and betrayals from the Gulf of Mexico to Wall Street, has every reason to be angry.

But anger is bad politics. Anger can make you stupid. And anger leads to hate.

Try looking on the other side of that anger. Love. You love your country; try loving your countrymen. Give them your passion, your arguments, your ideas. But spare them your hate. It's not worthy of you. And it's bad for America.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)

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