Today's Comments Roundup: Tea Party Edition

Today on It's a Free Country we discussed whether or not the Tea Party is good for America, both in this live chat and on our website. Here is a sample of the discussion on the web.

Buzzing »» Tea Party | Live Chat Transcript | Paladino vs. Press

The Tea Party is good in the sense that at a base level it does raise awareness of issues and positions that have become dormant to the American consciousness. However, there is no denial that most members are angry without true education on the issues. Using talking points and bumper sticker slogans as arguments, and rallies for strength in numbers visual without any kind of substance in their activism is just as dangerous as the emotionally based voting for candidates who are in no way qualified for office, i.e. Paladino.

It would be nice if the media would stop treating this movement as anything more than a wild fringe hivemind.

--Dave from Brooklyn »» Join the conversation.

While I do not agree w/ their goals, deplore most of what they say, am SUPER frustrated w/ their lack of knowledge, and I am frightened to think of them getting too much power (i.e. a "tea party" president in 2012), I think they are good for America. What's good is that people are getting involved, working together, and it is democracy at work.

--Patti MacCracken on Facebook »» Join the conversation.

The Tea Party is a 3rd choice for Americans to get the attention of politicicians. We want to let our representatives locally and in DC know that citizens are unhappy with the status quo, with continued over-spending, ear-marks, and special interests placed (hidden) into major bills such as the Health Care Reform, TARP, etc... Time for fiscal conservatism. Tea Party organizations are made mainly of independents and conservatives, also some democrats. Read the research, don't listen to the gossip and fall for the lies anymore, attend a local meeting and see for yourself.

--Lisa from Bergen County, NJ »» Join the conversation.

And here's our favorite exchange from the live chat, which fostered some great back and forth. Check it out and see the full transcript here:

J.W. from Connecticut - I favor government that aids the individual who needs help and leaves the individual alone when they are doing just fine. There is a delicate balance to be struck between those two things, I feel.

Olivia Jane NYC - JW: can you define "individuals who need help"?

Maria G, Brooklyn - I don't see how you can both help someone who needs help and leave others alone. Presumably those who are doing fine need to at least be taxed?

J.W. from Connecticut - Olivia Jane - thats a very very broad group of people so I don't know if i can. Someone having a heart attack, someone in a car accident, and so on, of ocurse...but then you get to ppl in the grey area...

J.W. from Connecticut - and that's where the ;delicate balance' comes in :)

Maria G, Brooklyn - But let's say you help someone who has a car accident. The efficient way to do that is by preventing the car accident in the first place.

Maria G, Brooklyn - And that requires government affecting people who are just fine