The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tea Party Tidal Wave

While perusing Youtube for victory speeches given on election night, one stood out as particularly ominous—the speech given by Kentucky GOP Senate-elect, Rand Paul. He announces to his enthusiastic audience that “we have come to take our government back” and interjects a statistic regarding the confidence in Washington’s affairs. Paul makes it a point that the general public is clearly unhappy about our current governmental situation and states that a “Tea Party tidal wave” will finally draw Washington’s attention to their unheard voices.

Paul goes on to mention that our “freedom” is what makes America a great nation. The US has several freedoms (that we often take for granted) that many nations lack. However, the form of “freedom” Paul mainly addresses in his speech relates to corporate capitalism. I will refrain from proselytizing, but as a (peaceful) member of the far-left I find it difficult to agree with all of Paul’s views, especially those relating to the “entrepreneurial spirit” he addresses. The freedom he constantly refers to is not enjoyed by the majority of the population, but rather the privileged few in our society, which is exactly to whom the Tea Party appeals.

Overall, the election results left me sorely disappointed. Even though I don’t always agree with the Democrats either, I view them as a far more progressive party than the Republicans. I have noticed all throughout the campaign prior to the election that several candidates seemed to scrounge together millions of dollars for their ads simply to mud-sling and berate their opponents instead of stating their platforms. Progress can never be achieved in this country unless both parties learn to come to some agreement and focus on the real issues at hand (to me, that mainly includes our appalling unemployment/poverty rate and education reform). Paul states in his speech that “America’s best days lie ahead of her.” If that means taking a trip to the past and undoing collective reform (i.e. the health care bill), then I’m not subscribing to that statement.

—Nikki Edmiston

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