Story of Nonviolence: Cantor and Klansman

Michael WeisserThis is a long excerpt from an amazing book, The Powers That Be, by Walter Wink. After coming to a belief, simply through reading Jesus’ call to “love your enemies”, that violence was not an appropriate action for Christians, a friend of mine on my dorm floor gave me this book. It was formative in helping me make further sense, not only of Jesus’ teachings, but also of the rich history of nonviolence in the Christian faith.
Toward the end of the book it includes a handful of stories, one of which I’ll include here. Enjoy.
From The Powers That Be (p. 172-175):

Identifying enemies runs the risk of freezing them in their role, and of blocking their conversion. Treating people as enemies will help create enemy like reactions in them. Too great an em­phasis on liberating the oppressed, too big a focus on success in nonviolent campaigns, too pragmatic an orientation to nonvio­lent struggle, can have the effect of dehumanizing the opponent in our minds and acts.
The command to love our enemies reminds us that our first task toward oppressors is pastoral: to help them recover their humanity. Quite possibly the struggle, and the oppression that gave it rise, have dehumanized the oppressed as well, causing them to demonize their enemies. It is not enough to become politically free; we must also become human. Nonviolence presents the chance for all parties to rise above their present con­dition and become more of what God created them to be.
Just such a story comes from Lincoln, Nebraska. On a Sun­day morning in June 1991, Cantor Michael Weisser and his wife, Julie, were unpacking boxes in their new home, when the phone rang. “You will be sorry you ever moved into 5810 Randolph St., Jew boy,” the voice said, and hung up. Two days later, the Weissers received a manila packet in the mail. “The KKK is watching you, Scum,” read the note. Inside were pictures of Adolf Hitler, caricatures of Jews with hooked noses, blacks with gorilla heads, and graphic depictions of dead blacks and Jews. “The Holohoax was nothing compared to what’s going to hap­pen to you,” read one note.
The Weissers called the police, who said it looked like the work of Larry Trapp, the state leader, or “grand dragon,” of the Ku Klux Klan. A Nazi sympathizer, he led a cadre of skinheads and klansmen responsible for terrorizing black, Asian, and Jew­ish families in Nebraska and nearby Iowa. “He’s dangerous,” the police warned. “We know he makes explosives.” Although confined to a wheelchair because of late-stage diabetes, Trapp, forty-four, was a suspect in the firebombings of several African Americans’ homes around Lincoln and was responsible for what he called “Operation Gooks,” the March 1991 burning of the Indochinese Refugee Assistance Center in Omaha. (He later ad­mitted to these crimes.) And Trapp was planning to blow up the synagogue where Weisser was the spiritual leader.
Trapp lived alone in a drab efficiency apartment. On one wall he kept a giant Nazi flag and a double-life-sized picture of Hitler. Next to these hung his white Klan robe, with its red belt and hood. He kept assault rifles, pistols, and shotguns within instant reach for the moment when his enemies might come crashing through his door to kill him. In the rear was a secret bunker he’d built for the coming “race wars.
When Trapp launched a white supremacist TV series on a local public-access cable channel—featuring men and women saluting a burning swastika and firing automatic weapons—Mi­chael Weisser was incensed. He called Trapp’s KKK hotline and left a message on the answering machine. “Larry,” he said, “do you know that the very first laws that Hitler’s Nazis passed were against people like yourself who had no legs or who had physi­cal deformities or physical handicaps? Do you realize you would have been among the first to die under Hitler? Why do you love the Nazis so much?” Then he hung up.
Weisser continued the calls to the machine. Then one day Trapp picked up. “What the f do you want?” he shouted. “I just want to talk to you,” said Weisser. “You black?” Trapp demanded. “Jewish,” Weisser replied. “Stop harassing me,” said Trapp, who demanded to know why he was calling. Weisser remembered a suggestion of his wife’s. “Well, I was thinking you might need a hand with something, and I wondered if I could help,” Weisser ventured. “I know you’re in a wheelchair and I thought maybe I could take you to the grocery store or something.”
Trapp was too stunned to speak. Then he cleared his throat. “That’s okay,” he said. “That’s nice of you, but I’ve got that covered. Thanks anyway. But don’t call this number anymore. “I’ll be in touch,” Weisser replied. During a later call, Trapp admitted that he was “rethinking a few things.” But then he went back on the radio spewing the same old hatreds. Furious, Weisser picked up the phone. “It’s clear you’re not rethinking anything at all!” After calling Trapp a “liar” and “hypocrite,” Weisser demanded an explanation.
In a surprisingly tremulous voice, Trapp said, “I’m sorry I did that. I’ve been talking like that all of my life. . . . I can’t help it. . . . I’ll apologize!” That evening the cantor led his congregation in prayers for the grand dragon.
The next evening the phone rang at the Weissers’ home. “I want to get out,” Trapp said, “but I don’t know how.” The Weissers offered to go over to Trapp’s that night to “break bread.” Trapp hesitated, then agreed, telling them he lived in apartment number three. When the Weissers entered Trapp’s apartment, he burst into tears and tugged off his two swastika rings. Soon all three were crying, then laughing, then hugging.
Trapp resigned from all his racist organizations and wrote apologies to the many people he had threatened or abused. When, a few months later, Trapp learned that he had less than a year to live, the Weissers invited him to move into their two-bedroom/three-children home. When his condition deterio­rated, Julie quit her job as a nurse to care for him, sometimes all night. Six months later he converted to Judaism; three months after that he died.23
Most people who are violent have themselves been the vic­tims of violence. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Larry Trapp had been brutalized by his father and was an alcoholic by the fourth grade.
Loving our enemies may seem impossible, yet it can be done. At no point is the inrush of divine grace so immediately and concretely perceptible as in those moments when we let go of our hatred and relax into God’s love. No miracle is so awe­some, so necessary, and so frequent.

Guess Who’s In The Star Tribune?

My Open Letter to Mayor Rybak got some publicity today in the Star Tribune!


From Dateline Minneapolis: Mayor Rybak, won’t you be our neighbor?:

Inveterate North Sider Buzzy Bohn and newcomer Ariah Fine independently extended similar invitations to Rybak to come on up to their part of the city…

While Bohn is a North Side veteran, area newcomer Fine issued a similar invitation. He and his family of four moved to a duplex a block off Broadway Avenue W. in late 2007, and he blogged an invitation to Rybak, with a side tweet to the mayor. Fine sounds genuinely impressed by Rybk’s commitment to the North Side:

"You’ve come out for events large and small, even when there were no cameras, to speak about the hope and potential of North. I’ve rarely spoken well of politicians and city officials when it comes to the forgotten parts of most cities, but I must say that so far it’s seemed as if you are more then just empty words.

"As you look for a place to call home, I believe there is no better place than north Minneapolis. And if you believe the words that you’ve spoken about this part of the city, I think you believe it too. Many politicians can talk the talk, paying lip service and then turn a blind eye, but here is your opportunity to walk the walk. Move to north Minneapolis."

No link to my letter or anything, but a little recognition is always fun.

YouTubesday: Haiti, God, and Foxhole Manifesto

(If You are reading this post via email the videos will not show up. If any of the titles are interesting to you please visit the site and view them here, just click on the link above)


This is a brief video about my friends organization, The Haiti Water Project. They are trying to rally 4000 supporters to their cause on facebook. Join them.


Here’s a cool music video/song about God, White Man by Michael Gungor


A Great spoken word piece about God, "Foxhole Manifesto" as performed by Jeffrey McDaniel

Guestroom For Jesus

homeless In most cities in the USA, especially in our current economic climate, there are more abandoned housing units then there are homeless. In other words: there is enough housing for everyone. Of course, the red tape and economic structures of our society prevents this solution from becoming a reality. However, I’d like to offer an alternative solution.
By even conservative statistics, there are many more empty “guest bedrooms” in people’s homes then there are homeless out on the streets in every city. Specifically, I’d bet there are enough empty rooms in “Christians” homes, whose very faith calls them to care for those in need, to end homelessness in the USA tomorrow if we wanted to. As an example, there are 3000 homeless in Hennepin County, which has a population of over one million. Assuming an average household of five people, that’s 200,000 homes of which at least 1-2% more then likely have an extra bedroom. Even with this reality, we have plenty of excuses as to why my correlation (Christians with Empty Guest Bedrooms : Homeless Ratio) simply is not appropriate or feasible.

“Many homeless have mental conditions, that would make it unsafe for my family.”
“Most homeless have drug and alcohol problems which would put my families lives in danger.”
“And God calls us to protect our family and be wise” [sidenote: Can someone please show me where in the Bible it say that to “protect” our family is a top priority?]

Lame Excuses!
We have within our means the ability to radically live out the Christian calling of caring for the needy and practicing hospitality, and we are content to cop out with some lame excuse.
Here’s why it’s lame. Keeping your family (and the people on the street) safe is a wonderful thing, really it is. Mental conditions should be treated, drug and alcohol problems should be controlled, nobody should be hurting or threatening anybody; but what does that have to do with opening your home to someone else?

Sure, you are to be validated in your concerns. But, now it’s time to problem solve and find a solution for bringing together your desire for the well-being of all, and your calling to radically follow Christ.
If people (including many Christians) can spend thousands of dollars solving the problems of remodeling their outdated bathroom, or upgrading to a state of the art kitchen, then I think we can also put our minds and money to creating homes that can accommodate those who need a place to stay.

Maybe you put an outside door on the guest room and a regular locked door into the house. Or you remodel the office or the space above the garage to have not only a bedroom but a bathroom and a small kitchenette.  Use your imagination, you could go more elaborate or more practical, but look to solve problems rather then make excuses.

Maybe for some it means downsizing their home till it accommodates the basic needs for their immediate family and they then use the freed up additional wealth and resources to contribute to a community that is meeting the needs of the homeless.

Stop making lame excuses that justify your apathy to following Christ call. Instead have some fun and remodel your house (and in doing so open yourself to following Christ in ways you’ve never considered before)!

Story Of Nonviolence: A Victim Cares For His Mugger

Julio Diaz

I think I’ll probably jump all over with these stories, from small individual acts, to larger more collective ones. This story I came across last year when some friends pointed me to it. It’s a neat story because Julio Diaz seems to be taking a page right out of Jesus’ playbook (“if someone takes your coat…”). Here’s the story:

Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

“He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, ‘Here you go,’” Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. “He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?’”

Diaz replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.  (read the rest of the story here)

I think we don’t realize that criminals are people too, often hurting people. I want to always keep that in my mind and experience every encounter as a chance to love others, like Julio Diaz chose to do.

Do you know of any other stories like this?

Guest Post: A Tea Party Explanation

Last week, I posted a guest blog from my friend Zach regarding the Tea Parties that happened across the country last Wednesday. Another friend, Jeff, wrote a response, and I wanted to make that available as a guest blog as well. As politics is something I consider myself an ever learning student on, I’m open to hearing, and posting, different viewpoints on this blog. So, here is Jeff’s response:

A Tea Party Explanation


I appreciate the questions you have about the tea parties and the current unrest among fiscal conservatives about the current government policies and you are certainly not alone in both your questions and your skepticism.

I attended the Madison tea party with my girlfriend; we both took a day off of work to do so.  At the steps of the Capitol, directly underneath the Governor’s windows, over 5,000 people gathered to protest not only federal policies, but the policies of the state government as well.  I can’t speak to the individual motivations of each protestor, but I can off you my observations.   The crowd was a diverse mix of yuppies and country bumpkins, Madison residents in their flip flops and northerners with their hunter orange; blacks, whites, Hispanics, etc.  I saw Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians.  I would venture to say that while Republicans were certainly represented, the majority of attendees were disillusioned with both parties. While their current anger is directed at the Obama administration, there is a healthy amount of disappointment, if not rage, at the Republicans who most feel failed us.

I showed up to protest not just the Obama administration or the Doyle administration, but the political culture in general.  Our current federal government has far exceeded its mandate and the powers which it was given under the Constitution.  Both parties have used tax and spend policies to consolidate power bases which they seek to enlist and reward every election cycle.  Political power has been removed from local constituencies where the people had the power and has been granted to untouchable politicians and special interests.   I protested the belief that thievery is justified so long as it is performed by the government and done in the interest of specific constituencies.

The questions you raise are complicated topics that we could spend several months debating, but I do want to answer some of them specifically and throw in some general facts and figures.  I appreciate the questions because it allows us all to take a closer look at what is going on and what our government is doing, and hopefully we’ll all be able to have a clearer understanding and a desire to become active in our own ways.

Are they protesting the fact that they are being taxed without representation?

Yes and no.   The Federal Reserve is an unelected body.  While the Federal Reserve does not have the power of direct taxation, they do have the power to print currency.   Yet, over the past months and presumably for many more months to come, the Fed is “injecting” money into certain companies and industries outside of TARP, stimulus, omnibus, etc which our elected officials have not voted on.   The effect of this practice is two-fold.  First it will lead to inflation which, though not a tax, will devalue any assets you currently own, which leads to the same outcome as taxation.  Secondly, interest and principle will eventually need to be paid on the bonds and securities which are issued to print this currency, and taxes will at some point be levied to do so.

As to the conduct of our legislators, one could make the argument that the current spending that is being introduced, and the levying of taxes to support such, could be considered “taxation without representation”.  At no point in the history of this nation has the Federal government carried such a deficit and burdened its progeny with such a debt as it is in the process of doing today. Our current legislators were not elected to spend in this fashion, not one campaigned on it, not one promised it, nor did one single legislator even propose such an idea until after the election.   When the current government took office, they proceeded to pass the legislation which has been mentioned without reading the bill, without giving the citizens a chance to read the bill, and without consulting their constituencies.   While they were elected democratically, I would hardly call that representation and be more inclined to call it mob rule. (I would also assert that levying a tax burden upon those whom are not yet born also equates to “taxation without representation”)

So are they protesting because our taxes are too much?

So are they protesting because taxes are being raised for those who make more than $200,000 a year?

Yes.  To say that the current “tax cut” decreased the tax burden on 95% of Americans is simply false and to assert that it is the largest in the nation’s history is a dangerous distortion.   Currently, only 40% of U.S. citizens pay Federal income tax.  I have yet to have a single proponent of the “tax cut for 95% of Americans” idea explain to me how those who do not pay taxes can receive a tax cut.  Under the current tax plan, that number jumps to 50% who do not pay Federal income taxes.   So even using the government’s number of 95% (which are false), 45% are receiving a tax cut while 50% are receiving an unearned credit.

Let’s break down some more real numbers.  At the current tax rate, the top 1% of income earners currently pay 40% of all Federal income taxes; the top 10% (average income of $92,400) pay 72.8% of all income taxes.   From 2001 through 2006, the tax burden on the top 10% increased from 67.8% to the current level.    By the real numbers, President Bush decreased the tax burden on those in the lower tax brackets significantly…so this myth that he gave tax breaks only to the rich is a myth.

This section could be filled with facts and figures that could turn this post into a book, so we’ll leave it at that and ask ourselves the question; are we taxing those who produce, those who own businesses, too much?  I don’t know how you can say that they do not, when they are already carrying the tax burden of the entire nation upon their shoulders.

So are they protesting because President Obama’s budget proposal is a record 3.6 trillion dollars over the next 10 years?

Are they protesting because Obama’s spending is pushing our National debt higher and higher?

Yes and yes.  The discontent over Federal spending during the Bush years is one of the primary reasons that the Democrats are currently in control of government.  As I have stated above, many protestors are as disillusioned with the Republicans as they are angry at the current government. That being said, the increase in not only government spending, but government control has increased at such blinding speed to create a stark difference between the spending habits of this administration and the previous.

Remember that the current budget does not include monies spent by TARP, the stimulus bill, the omnibus bill, etc.  What the budget does include is “down payments” on such programs as Universal Health Care, high speed rail programs, green energy etc.  To take Health Care as an example; the current budget appropriates $634 billion to simply start the program.  That cost is expected to rise to well over $1.6 trillion dollars within the next decade.   He is budgeting only $5 billion for a Federal high speed rail system.  A small rail system in Madison is currently estimated to cost $1 billion and extending that type of cost to a Federal system is almost too difficult to comprehend.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that these types of cost are unsustainable.  Any citizen with common sense can reason that in order to simply pay the down payment on these types of programs will require revenues much higher than what the Federal government is currently receiving, and thus new taxes will need to be levied (and the amount of citizens carrying that tax burden is quickly narrowing).  Remember, this is just the cost of the programs and we are not yet even talking about the ability for the programs to be successful.

I don’t have the exact figures of what the deficit-debt to GDP ratio is estimated to be, but the ratio over the next 15 years will increase to a point that will dwarf anything the civilized world has ever seen.   Our current ratio sits at around 22% of GDP…already an unsustainable amount.

Are they protesting because they believe Obama is walking all over the constitution?

I’m not sure when President Bush suspended the writ of habeas corpus, but it is fallacious to assert that those currently protesting the government supported carte blanche the Bush administration and the ways in which it prosecuted the War on Terror.

The current Federal government (and past governments, but they are no longer in power) is absolutely acting outside of the powers which are enumerated in the Constitution.   The Constitution restricts the Federal government to certain defined roles and restricts its authority in matters which are not specifically granted.  The Constitution does not give the Federal government the authority to nationalize private industries, to “bail out” organizations or individuals, to distribute monies to individuals or states, to fund research or art projects, to levy taxes to support insurance programs, to regulate or fund educational institutions, etc.  This list can be extended to fill another book.   While the Federal government is granted the ability to levy taxes, it is unconstitutional to levy taxes that fund activities which the Federal government is restricted from participating in.  And to your examples of funding for the War on Terror, the Federal government is responsible for providing the national defense of this nation.

Stories of Creative Nonviolence

2592509250_f5f4b0eae1 Most people I talk to about pacifism and non-violence lack any knowledge of true stories of creative non-violence. We’ve seen literally hundreds of movies and tv shows of redemptive violence (good guy kills bad guy, everyone lives happily ever after) by the time we are adults, but we’ve seen little if any examples of nonviolence. We know it took a World War to stop the holocaust, but we know little more then the name Gandhi when it comes to nation-wide nonviolent movements.

I’m going to begin collecting and telling true stories of nonviolence that I have read or come across online, and share them here. The idea is to create a central collection of evidence that nonviolence “works.” Stories and examples that you can point others to so they are at least exposed to this idea.

I’ve talked about doing this in the past, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. This weekend though, while celebrating a wedding and gathering with old college friends, the pacifism conversation came up yet again, and I found that many of the guys I’d had these same conversations with years ago still didn’t really know of many examples of creative nonviolence. So, I want to put them together here.

I’ll post stories for the next couple weeks on Thursdays. I’ll probably start by reposting one’s I’ve gathered before, and then start posting new things. The stories will be tagged Stories of Nonviolence.

This post here is basically a call for submissions and tips on stories you’ve heard, either personally or read online somewhere. If you want to share your own story comment below or send me a post. Otherwise, if you’ve heard a story and can send me the link or a brief description so I can search for the story, I’ll be happy to give you credit.

Let the story telling begin.

Hello Wheaton Students!

My letter to the Editor was in the Wheaton Record today, the school paper at my alma mater. For those that didn’t read my previous drafts on the blog, I’ll post it one more time.

Mostly, I want to say hello and welcome to any students who got here via a Google search or link. Glad you stopped by. If your interested in joining our efforts to make diversity a central issue in the hiring of Wheaton’s next President, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Thanks!

Letter to the Editor

As an academic institution and as a Christian community, Wheaton recognizes the importance of diversity and acts successfully on it. This fact is quite apparent when you look at the nearly 50/50 female-to-male ratio of each incoming freshman class. For the benefit of both sexes and the community, Wheaton intentionally maintains this 1:1 ratio. Why? Because Wheaton recognizes there is value in having a diverse student body.

The selection committee, chosen to help select the next Wheaton president, also recognizes the importance of diversity and includes this as part of its “Commitment” section in the concise “qualifications desired”:

* To champion ethnic, economic, and gender diversity

Despite this commitment to diversity, the selection committee itself contains only two women and one African American out of ten positions. It seems the importance of a gender balance in the student body does not carryover into areas such as selection committees. Even President Litfin, who has served the college well, makes no mention of the topic of ethnic or gender diversity in his formidable book regarding Christian Colleges.

Wheaton College has had seven presidents in it’s 150 year history, Litfin’s tenure beginning in 1993. All seven of the past presidents have been white males and, if we are honest, we should acknowledge that our historical prejudices would not have allowed it otherwise. Compared to other academic institutions, their are more white and male Christian college presidents (in the CCCU) then their secular counterparts (no minority CCCU presidents and only 2% female, compared to 12.8% and 21.1% respectively in all national institutions).

Let us continue the commitment Wheaton has to diversity, acknowledge in the presidential qualifications and admission considerations, by making diversity of primary importance in considering the next leader of this great academic institution for Christ and His Kingdom.

Ariah Fine ’05

Guest Post: I Don’t Get the Tea Parties!

(Here’s a Guest Post from my good friend, Zach. Originally published on his blog, so you’ll have to go there to comment and add your thoughts)

I honestly do not understand this Tea Party business going on around the country lately.

There seem to be a lot of Republicans get very excited about joining in on these Tea Parties, but I can’t figure out what exactly they are protesting.

The original Tea Party, the Boston Tea Party, was all about Taxation Without Representation. England was imposing a tea tax on the colonists in order to increase their revenues from the East India Company. The colonists resented this taxation because they believed they had the right to only be taxed by their own elected officials, hence the Boston Tea Party, where in protest they dumped three ships’ worth of tea into the Boston Harbor.

So fast-forward to today. These groups have latched onto this name Tea Party, I guess recalling this great protest in our American history, but I fail to see the connection.

Are they protesting the fact that they are being taxed without representation?

No, because they aren’t. We have a democracy, and we had an election, and our elected officials are in charge of our taxes.

So are they protesting because our taxes are too much?

No, they shouldn’t be at least, because our taxes just went down! Starting April 15, 2009, President Obama’s tax cut for 95% of Americans just started taking effect. Almost everyone that’s protesting just got their taxes decreased by President Obama. Check your pay check, I bet yours went up too! 95% of Americans just got a tax cut, it’s the biggest tax cut in American history! Why would they be protesting about taxes being so high now when their taxes are less than they were during Bush’s presidency? Why weren’t they holding Tea Parties when Bush was president?

So are they protesting because taxes are being raised for those who make more than $200,000 a year?

I don’t know why there would be this much outrage over this. The taxes of the really wealthy are being raised so that practically every other American can get some tax relief! And how much is it getting raised? 3%. Yeah, that’s right, just 3%! The rich, instead of being taxed 36%, are going to be taxed 39%. 3% more. And not even yet…this won’t even take effect for another couple years. And it wasn’t really even something Obama did, this was when the tax break for the wealthy Bush passed was set to expire. It was going to revert back to 39% either way, unless the new president renewed it. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that this is socialist! Taxing the rich more! Well, all it does is bring the tax rate back to what it was when Clinton was president. We weren’t a socialist country then, why are people all the sudden saying this is going to make us socialist? It’s just back to the way we were in the 90’s! Remember the booming economy back in the ‘90’s, by the way?  Also, during Reagan’s presidency, the champion of conservatives, the tax rate for the wealthy was even higher than this!  Is Reagan a socialist?  (No, by the way, neither of them are).

So are they protesting because President Obama’s budget proposal is a record 3.6 trillion dollars over the next 10 years?

Again, why now? Why weren’t the Republicans holding Tea Parties when Bush proposed his 3.1 trillion dollar budget? Is 3.1 trillion acceptable and 3.6 going to burn American down? And besides, Bush did not include Iraq spending on his budget. He’s allowed to keep that number separate and secret for national security reasons. So although we were spending that money, it wasn’t included in his budget. Obama’s budget decided to disclose and include Iraq spending. So Obama’s 3.6 trillion dollar budget includes Iraq spending, and Bush’s 3.1 trillion dollar budget does not include Iraq spending…so the difference between them isn’t much, if anything. Why protest now?

Are they protesting because Obama’s spending is pushing our National debt higher and higher?

They can’t be, because if so, where were the protests before? During Bush’s presidency we went from a budget surplus to double the national debt in 8 years. There weren’t any tea party protests then. We spent a trillion dollars in the war in Iraq, and these Tea Partiers didn’t protest.

So are they protesting Obama’s stimulus bill or the bailouts of the banks?

If so, almost every conservative and liberal economist alike disagrees with them. Almost every economist agrees that capital needs to be injected into the economy in order to avoid exponential collapse, and also that the major banks have become too big to fail. If we let the banks go down, our economy goes down with it for many years to come. And besides, our former President was bailing the banks out as well, where were the protests then from Republicans?

Are they protesting because they believe Obama is walking all over the constitution?

This one makes the least sense to me. These people were overwhelmingly in support of our last president who authorized warrantless wiretaps and the suspension of habeas corpus, both in direct contradiction to our Constitution. What has Obama done to violate the constitution?

I really believe at this point that the only reason for these Tea Party protests is a simple one: they do not like Barack Obama, and they will protest anything he does. Regardless of what policies he supports or actions he takes, they will continue to protest, because they have made up their minds that they do not like him. I don’t know what happened to all the people that told liberals during Bush’s presidency that it’s wrong to criticize your president during war times and that it was unpatriotic to be so against the president. That’s what these conservatives are doing now.

There’s a survey I would like to see done, and I think the results would be very telling. Everyone would be asked their political affiliation. One half would be asked what they thought of President Obama’s support for the NEC resolution, if they agree with his support for it, disagree, or are neutral. The other half would be asked what they thought of President Bush’s (or McCain’s) support for the NEC resolution. No one would be told that there is in fact no such thing as “the NEC resolution.” I believe that you would find that many conservatives asked the first question would heartily disapprove of Obama’s support of this fake resolution, and conservatives asked the second question would heartily approve of Bush’s (or McCain’s) support of it.

They just don’t like Obama, that’s what it all comes down to.

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