Archived Story

Beware of the Tea Party

Published 9:26am Thursday, May 29, 2014

It’s no secret that the Tea Party has been attempting to highjack the Republican Party.

In Berrien County, they are making a concerted effort to become precinct delegates to gain control of the county’s Republican Party and drive out the traditional membership and defeat long-standing republicans such as Al Pscholka, Dave Pagel and Fred Upton through primary challenges.

Recently, I received an email from the Berrien County Tea Party referring to these challenges as RINO hunting in Southwest Michigan. RINO is a derogatory term that refers to moderates in the GOP as Republicans in Name Only.

Apparently there is no room for compromises and voting your conscience. Doing what is in the best interest of your constituents is no longer allowed in the extremist Tea Party version of the Republican Party.

Berrien County will have a budget of $81.1 million this year and the local Tea Party membership wants control over it because many of them feel that is too much and would like to eliminate this tax burden. But for every $102 you earn $1 goes to the county and that’s not too much to ask for drivable roads and effective sewers. With this sort of anti-government attitude, do we really want them running our county and seeking to de-fund our

essential services?

Like many Americans, I have been watching the Tea Party very closely over the past five years. One thing I’ve learned is that their leadership is skilled at telling angry people what they want to hear regardless of the consequences. If there is one thing that we can learn from history, it is that political actions made in anger often lead to scapegoating and violent actions.

Their entire platform is based off of denying scientific facts, cutting taxes, worshipping the rich and refusing to compromise. For instance, they are vehemently opposed to any sort of educational common core standard, which is their way of saying we want to take charge of your child’s education at the local level and ignore scientific fact and shove creationism down everyone’s throat.

Tea Party members like to refer to themselves as patriots and yet their actions only serve the corporate agenda, which has nothing to do with saving this great nation but increasing the record profits that they are already receiving.

Corporate America has no qualms about shipping jobs overseas, purposely destroying the middle-class and the unions that built it, working to destroy regulations that protect our environment without regard for the safety of future generations, cut the taxes that maintain our roads and infrastructure, attack public education and steal the future of our children all so the wealthy can get more tax breaks.

The fact of the matter is that in order to maintain our nation, we must pay taxes. As the population and needs of our citizens increase, so must our taxes. That is a fact of life.

Berrien County has always been populated by hard working, god-fearing moderate conservatives and I would hate to see that tradition destroyed by a handful of extremists.

America has been turned into an uncompromising partisan war zone and the fanatical Tea Party is leading the way.

The people of Berrien County need to stand up to them.


William Crandell is a community activist and member of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Democratic Party. He is also a member of the South County Democratic Club where he has served as their communications director and as the chairperson of the SCDC Blue Tiger Community Action Committee.

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  • Knotalibby

    Of course a leader of the Democratic Party will write about the ‘dangerous’ tea party. Because the Tea Party scares the Democrats to death. People are tired of only having two choices, Republican or Democrat, because neither party really listens to the people any more. The Democrats only care about social issues that get them votes i.e. abortion, racism and the “war on women”. Americans are tired of Politics as usual. The Tea Party isn’t the big bad party that’s trying to take over. Maybe it is time for all parties to start listening to the American people instead of politicking their own agendas.

  • Danno Mann

    How can anyone but a tool consider republican voters working to get actual representatives elected as a hijacking? More accurate and relevent would be an article calling democrat voters that refuse to sign up for the Democrat “Care’ they voted for ‘traitors’.

    Now that democrats have decided to negotiate with al Qaeda it is clear they have surrendered their American principles, way of life, and their country. Obama thanks you for your sacrifice.

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