Saturday, June 05, 2010

Tea Party and anti-war movement are far from agreement

In the last Hillsider, Celia Scheer of the Northern Liberty Alliance (NLA) pointed out the opportunity for common ground between her group and the anti-war movement. It makes sense. NLA members are worried about big government. A shocking 50 cents of every dollar you pay in income taxes goes to the military -- there is no bigger government program than that. And NLA members want to cut the national debt. War spending is the largest contributor to the debt.

But while Ms. Scheer agrees with the anti-war movement on this issue, most of her fellow Tea Partiers do not. Listen to the entire two-hour NLA tax day rally online and you won’t hear a peep about war spending from any of the speakers. However, you will hear scornful attacks on welfare and health care reform. You’ll hear loud applause for the man who wants to end
subsidized breakfasts for poor schoolchildren. You’ll hear lots of scapegoats and straw men, but nothing about what Ms. Scheer and I agree is an out-of-control war machine.

Joel Kilgour
For the Northland Anti-War Coalition

The NLA targets the wrong people, heaping blame for our national economic woes on “socialist” bogeymen and poor kids who have the nerve to go to school hungry. This rhetoric is unhelpful and potentially dangerous.

The message of the Northland Anti-War Coalition is very different. We believe that our country can and should invest MORE money toward the common good -- in things like schools, health care, transportation and clean energy -- and less in killing.

I appreciate Ms. Scheer’s letter, but she has a lot of work ahead of her to educate NLA members about the cost of war. The day NAWC can show up at a Tea Party rally and not be ignored or denounced as “un-American” by 90 percent of the crowd will be the day we can have an honest conversation about our common ground.