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Message Sally McMillan

Maybe the left should join the tea party. This seems strange, but it might make sense. There are things that we agree with. We want to take back our government. Not from Obama, but from the corporations. We don't want to be paying taxes to have our money spent on wars and bailouts. We're fed up with Congress, Democrats as well as Republicans who are influenced more by self-interest (aka money and the next election) than by the interests of this country. We're tired of unequal justice, of Washington insiders and Wall St. moguls, a depressed economy, dishonesty and lies.

The tea party doesn't need to be just a movement of the right. It can be a movement of the people. We don't have to agree on specific issues, but we do agree that our government isn't working for and by the people. Are people on the left concerned enough to come out to the streets and mingle peacefully with tea partiers? Here is an opportunity to be part of a big demonstration for change. An opportunity to share our insights with the other side. To transform the tea party movement with the truth about what is happening in this country and why.

Can this happen? Well, maybe not. It would take real restraint on the part of the left, the ability to mix with people who think differently and keep our cool, realizing that people have different opinions and that's okay. To concentrate on what we agree on. To inform. While some tea partiers may be racists and bigots and stupid, many are middle class ordinary folks who have never been activists, but who are sick and tired of the way Washington is working. They don't like the big deficit, but don't remember that Republicans inherited a balanced budget and through their eight years in power managed to turn it into a deficit that left the country in the midst of a Depression, two wars, and a rising poverty rate. Lots to be angry about. They've just been convinced that this all started under Obama. Talk radio and tv don't mention that it's been a long time coming. Or that Obama is trying to fix it.

All big demonstrations have people of different persuasions and different causes. The extremists and hotheads can be minimized if the movement focuses on what we can come together on. A united front for the people could go a long way to make both parties take notice. Change has to come from the people. We may not be as far apart as Washington thinks. We just have to let them know that. We just have to find the way to give power back to the people. Perhaps a joint right/left tea party could do that.

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Sally McMillan is a mother, a grandmother, an activist and a writer. She's from Philadelphia, Iowa, and now Albuquerque. She has four children and 12 grandchildren.

She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA (more...)

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