Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tea Party for the Community?

There's an interesting article in the NYTimes about Occupy Wallstreet organizing to help people hit hard by Sandy in the New York City area. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America tweeted a query: "Good piece in NTY about the Occupy relief response to Sandy. Q: has Tea Party ever dedicated itself to acts of goodness?"

From the New York Times: "ON Wednesday night, as a fierce northeaster bore down on the weather-beaten Rockaways, the relief groups with a noticeable presence on the battered Queens peninsula were these: the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Police and Sanitation Departments — and Occupy Sandy, a do-it-yourself outfit recently established by Occupy Wall Street."

And that got me thinking: does Tea Party morality allow for helping your fellow human? In the libertarian-objectivist model, if one is suffering, hasn't one brought that suffering upon oneself, even if it's caused by a natural disaster? If someone knew a storm was coming, and did not prepare, do they deserve what follows? Do the dictates of "personal responsibility" stretch that far?

I really don't know; that's why I'm asking.

For religious members of the Tea Party, are natural disasters acts of God, and brought about by a moral failing? And isn't suffering also the direct result of a moral failing?

Or is it only if people in the government extend the helping hand that it's wrong? Even though one could argue that officials are elected by the people, so the government is only extending the hand of the people through a bureaucratic system.

The only things I have seen Tea Partiers doing are: yelling at elected officials at community meetings, holding up poorly-spelled and/or logically-flawed posters at rallies and protests, and generally being nuisances in a completely non-constructive manner by spouting hollow rhetoric about "liberty" and "freedom," which seems to mean "taking liberty with the truth and freedom from facts."

In many ways, I would think that the Tea Party should be getting all hot and bothered, reading about the response these Occupy people have put together. After all, it's private citizens doing it, instead of the the government, even if they are just a bunch of dirty hippies. But then again, it's community organizing, and it's what Barack Obama references when he says that Americans stick together and help their fellow Americans. And we cannot agree with the Great Socialist.

And how can a group of people like the Tea Party get together and organize themselves, protest as allowed by the government, elect candidates into the government, etc. without criticizing themselves for "community organizing"?

There again, I think this is only OK in their morality when it's based in rage toward a government that...

Oh, I don't know. It's all so tortured.

See above. I really don't know.

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