Tea Party? —or Coffee Party!

July 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The political issues we face today in America are as important and difficult of resolution as any in our history. In foreign policy, domestic policy, economics (which encompasses all of the above and more) or the relationship of the government to the governed, the issues are staggering.

And we all have an opinion. Many of us make very sure that others know our feelings by making personal attacks on those we disagree with, by lying about issues and legislation, by parading with vicious signs and shouting slogans at rallies, and by disrupting opponents’ political meetings. Our political leaders act like tired children, obstructing instead of working together, making personal attacks on each other, and putting what they see as political gain ahead of any consideration of what’s best for the country, or the world.

Political gain all too often means listening to the major corporations that make large campaign contributions instead of listening to the voters themselves. I don’t agree with the Tea Party on much, but they are right about one thing: we need to get our government back, because government by the people, of the people, and for the people is pretty scarce around these United States. It has become government of, by, and for the major corporations and the very wealthy.

As a result, the ideas that count—the ideas that go into legislation and into government policy–are the ideas of the few. Others are ignored. Politicians refuse to contribute to the debate, or to proposed legislation—then whine that they were ignored and do everything possible to stall or defeat the proposals. Therefore, legislation and policy are not what they should be. Our country suffers. Our people suffer.

This is not the first time things have been like this. Acrimonious debate, obstructionism, and government for special interests have happened many times in the past. That doesn’t make them right: they are wrong and dangerous whenever they occur.

There’s a group of people who are trying to change things. They call themselves the Coffee Party, and this is their mission statement:

The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

The Coffee Party is non-partisan, although it sponsors forums where members can take positions on issues. It encourages people of all political persuasions, from the ultra left to the ultra right and all those in between, to join (or at least to contribute to civil political discourse) and declares:

In this election, let’s reject the campaign tactics that divide the American People and pit us against one another just to win an election. In order to restore democracy in America and “promote the general welfare” of the People, we must stand united.

Members and visitors are encouraged to sign a pledge:

As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

I have joined the Coffee Party, and I have signed both the Civility Pledge and the Declaration of Unity. I hope you will too, because the viciousness of the political process as we see it today cannot solve the critical issues we must solve quickly and efficiently.

Here’s a link to the Coffee Party site. Please use it and join now.

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