Knocking the Tea Party Is Pure Propaganda
I think it was in the eighth grade (back in 1947) that I first learned about propaganda techniques, one of which was called “setting up the straw man.” Peter Mulcahy’s “Do We Really Want Less Government?” letter (April 9) could have been used as a prime example.
Starting with his phrase “anti-health-care people,” continuing with his subtle attempt to connect the tea partiers with the Michigan seditionists and concluding with an accounting of various valuable government workers, Mulcahy is practicing the art.
The people referred to as “anti-health-care people” are not against health care; they are against the federal government gaining control over the individual’s health care, as it appears it eventually will do under the recently passed and signed health-care legislation and against the enormous unsustainable financial liability it engenders.
Tea party people have nothing whatsoever to do with Michigan seditionists and vice-versa. In fact, radio and TV news and opinion personalities associated with the right — and, therefore, generally approving of the tea partiers — quickly and vehemently denounced the seditionists as something worse than the “idiots” Mulcahy termed them.
I’ve been to one tea party and have been otherwise in the company of tea partiers and not once have I heard anyone arguing for less money for our air traffic control activities, the FBI and officers of the law. In fact, it is precisely these government operations (those that keep our citizens safe) that tea partiers cite as needed, beneficial and well worth our tax money.
To cite individual examples of the unproductive, outrageous, silly, counterproductive, unfair, special-interest and liberty-restraining government activities and expenses that tea party people are complaining about would sail me well over the 300-word limit for my letter.
Roger W. Fromm
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