Tea Parties and Unprovable Claims

Gandhi once said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you. Then you win."

That could not sum up better the attitude toward the Tea Parties that have been taking place across America.  As the movements grew they became harder and harder to ignore so Democrats attempted to mock them calling people attending the movements "tea baggers" and other disparaging names.

Now we've moved on to attacks.  Two recent letters appeared in the Nashua Telegraph making a lot of unprovable claims against people who attend Tea Parties.

The first was written by Serafin Anderson.  She can also be found listed on Obama's website as one of the NH Women who campaigned for him, giving her bias against the tea parties from the stater.  She can also be found HERE, where the state suspended her license to practice medicine because she was ""afflicted with physical disability, insanity, psychiatric disorders, or other disease deemed dangerous to the public health" and is, therefore, incapable of safely practicing medicine."

These two facts about her I would think would cause any reasonable thinking person to question her credibility.  But it was her claims themselves that raised the red flag as far as believability.

You can read her letter in full HERE but here are the claims she made.

At President Barack Obama’s recent appearance in Nashua, I found myself standing among Tea Party posters proclaiming “Socialism sucks you dry” and “Down with Government.” Talking with the protesters was revealing.

When asked for a definition of socialism, the first said it was “big government.” He wanted government out of everything but defense, especially education.

“That’s right!” he said. “No public schools … only charter schools!”

But, of course, charter schools are public schools.

Of course there is no evidence to support this discussion ever took place.  And in looking at pictures of the protesters outside the event I have not been able to find any with the signs stating what she mentions.

Lets assume though that so far what she wrote has been truthful, so far the only offense is that she found someone who was not aware that a charter school is not the same as a private school.  Interesting choice of words too, that they would argue only for charter schools and not say only private schools.  That's the first red flag in this letter.

The second spoke out against government spending.

“The government shouldn’t be going into debt,” she said. “I used to be $17,000 in debt, and now I have paid my debt down to $6,500.”

“That’s great!” I exclaimed. “How did you manage that?”

She replied: “I used my unemployment insurance …”

If that doesn't make you say hmmm then you need to lay off the cool-aid.

Let's look closer at this claim.  Unless it has risen since 2008, the max you can collect from unemployment is $427 a week assuming you earned $41,500 or more a year.  You are able to collect for 39 weeks.

So for this person to have paid down $10,500 as they claimed they would have had to put in 100% of their unemployment for 24 and a half weeks and had no other bills at all.

Now I suppose that is possible but it's very unlikely.

Moving on to her third claim...

The third was against all government social programs, although she admitted that she lived on food stamps when she was a single mom and couldn’t find work.

This one is the most believable of them all, however just because you use or have used a government service which you are taxed dearly for does not mean you have to support it.  I know several libertarians who take advantage of every government program they can find.  Not because they support them but because they wish to bleed the system dry.  They want to get to a point where the government is taking so much money from society that ordinary people will get to the point of screaming out enough (sort of like we're starting to see now).  I personally don't agree with this approach but I do understand it.  Serafin clearly does not understand it.  She instead concludes:

It can be summed up in the words: “I’ll take what I need from government (unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc.), but I don’t want to be fairly taxed for it, and I certainly don’t want government to help out anyone else.”

This first letter resulted in a second letter being submitted by Janie Andolsun.  Now Janie's name can be found on Democracy For NH and in letters supporting transgender people's right to "correct the wrong that they were given in birth." So like our first writer, this too is a woman with a clear bias against anything not far left.

Janie's letter can be found in full HERE.

She writes:

I wondered what the Tea Party movement was all about, other than being against anything to do with government regulation. It’s obvious from Serafin’s comments many of the Tea Party participants don’t understand government’s role in our lives.

This statement is very telling indeed.  She wondered what the tea party movement was about... that's an admission that she hasn't taken the time to find out and instead is basing her view solely on another person's unprovable claim.  I'm going to get back to this point in a moment but for now let's move on.

I, for one, am very thankful for Social Security benefits and veterans benefits. My father died when I was a very young child. I always attributed those two organizations for putting food on my table, since my mother was not well educated and had five young children at home to take care of.

I can’t imagine what our lives would have been like without this help.

The implication here is that without government forcing people to be charitable we would sit back while our fellow Americans died of hunger in the streets.  As someone who has donated time, money and even given my blood to help others I can honestly say this is not true.

In fact, without government regulations, we would not have the benefits we have today, such as company-sponsored health insurance benefits, sick days, vacation days, pay for overtime, safe workplaces and retirement benefits. Corporations didn’t create these benefits out of the goodness of their hearts.

Unions created these things, not governments.  Politicians passed laws because of unions forming and they realized that large groups of active people equal large groups of votes.

Government doesn't do things out of the goodness of it's heart.  It does things because the politicians think they'll win votes doing it or they are embarrassed to the point they have to do something.

Further more, unless you are speaking to anarchists, which are a very small minority, most people in the tea party movement accept government.  They just don't want it to be as over bearing as it is now.  Making sure a company doesn't sell products that poison you is one thing, forcing money from your pocket against your will to find a cheese festival in another state is another.

If the government stuck solely to the powers given to it by Article I Section 8 of the constitution we would be far better off.

After being abroad and seeing handicapped people begging in the streets, I said I would never object to paying my taxes again for I could see how much better we have it because of our benefits.

This statement is interesting in that she simply writes "abroad" without giving the details of which countries.

I too have seen homeless and handicapped people in the streets, not just abroad but here in America.  In many cases it is because of too much government rather then too little.

This brings us back to the point I said I'd come back to about unprovable claims.  Here we have one person writing a letter based solely on her own word which is compromised at best and a second person basing their letter on the first person's word.

This same week a republican made an equally unprovable claim and the response from the left was far different.  Merrimack State Rep Nancy Elliott during a state hearing claimed that a parent from Nashua called her and said their child was learning specifics about homosexual sex in their 5th grade class.  Democrats went so far as to threaten to sue her.  She finally apologized claiming she could not produce proof of her claim.  Now this is not to say what she said is or isn't true, she just claimed she could not produce evidence.  Think about it though, if you were that parent would you want you child singled out as the child of the whistle blower?

Even with the apology her statement is just as plausible as the claim made in the original letter above.  When you read the feedback and read how either claim is taken by democrats it's clear that they are willing to believe the claim against the tea party groups without the burden of proof that they hold Nancy too.

That's hypocrisy and it is what leads so many to follow political parties blindly.  They believe what they want to believe.

I'm a skeptic, I want proof regardless of the source.