The Tea Party movement makes progressive politicians panic. And recent polls show their concern holds merit.
And that’s why the left is pulling out dirty tricks, such as the “race card,” in a frantic effort to cling to power.
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center about public attitudes toward the federal government found that most Americans are now “less positive and more critical of government.”
Specifically, the Pew poll found:
• almost 80 percent of Americans distrust the federal government;
• 52 percent say it is a major problem that the government is too big and powerful;
• 58 percent say that the federal government is interfering too much in state and local matters.
With momentum moving against the policies promoted by President Obama, it’s not surprising to find progressives are desperately trying to discredit the Tea Party.
Allegations of racism and political extremism on the part of Tea Party members, for instance, are cynical acts meant to discredit the movement and scare traditional constituencies, such as blacks.
If anything is hurtful or offensive, it is the pejorative terms commonly used by critics against both white and black Tea Party participants. Whites, for example, are a “racist” and “redneck.” Blacks are “tokens,” “Uncle Toms” and “race traitors.”
The intensity of this rhetoric seems to increase with the expanding influence of the Tea Party movement. Unfortunately, these wholly inaccurate labels may actually be working — preventing minorities from voicing their true opinions and creating a false front for allegations from the left.
Blacks, for instance, have long been a reliable Democratic voting block. Additionally, blacks are proud of Obama as our nation’s first black president, which explains why the Tea Party, which often criticizes Obama, lacks appeal among many blacks.
Finally, some blacks who share Tea Party’s feelings likely remain silent to avoid alienation from friends, family and co-workers.
To make sure no one forgets, progressive politicians, such as Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), have no problem stepping up the rhetoric against the Tea Party. Rangel recently claimed, “[y]ou don’t see any black folks in these groups. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.”
Rather than legitimate concern rooted in facts, Rangel further said Tea Party opposition to Obamacare was instead based simply on “bias” and “prejudice.”
But it’s not just race. On the 15-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, former president Bill Clinton played the “Timothy McVeigh card” to associate Tea Parties with violence and extremism. During his speech at the Center for American Progress, Clinton warned “the words we use really do matter, because they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike.”
Clinton’s former adviser, Dick Morris, refutes these claims. Morris noted, “According to the killer himself, it was the action of the federal government during the Waco raid that incited him to violence. That the attack on the federal office building took place on the anniversary of the Waco raid underscores the connection.”
Furthermore, Tea Party supporters don’t fit the “unhinged” McVeigh profile. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found Tea Party supporters tended to be “wealthier and more well-educated than the general public” and “married and over 45.”
Tea Party members, in fact, are driven by policy — not race. Tea Party members counter a government gone wild with spending, massive debt and centralized control that erodes individual liberty.
This noble cause leads progressives to retaliate by throwing mud. In the short term, this strategy may work. Over time, however, blacks and other minorities will see through the fog of words and realize the Tea Party is looking out for them, too.
Deneen Borelli is a Project 21 Fellow and Fox News contributor.
Fox Forum is on Twitter. Follow us @fxnopinion.
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