While passing through Raleigh I ran into my old friend the Tea Party. It had been weeks since our paths had crossed in Charlotte, I wondered if they had anything new to say.
In Charlotte there was more mayhem and crazy signs due to President Obama visiting. With the majority of tax day's speakers running for office they attempted to keep the fringe lunatic levels at a minimum. While the signs were slightly less offensive this time around their arguments and reasoning was as erratic as ever. Anger was directed towards taxes, health care, gun rights, the Federal Reserve, politicians not being Christian enough and Obama not being American enough.
A counter protest group accused the Tea Party of being a corporately funded movement, protested for workers rights and was a group as left from the center as the teabaggers were right. Being a smaller group they had to implement a more guerrilla approach to getting their message across.
Forced hugging, effective in both immobilizing the teabagger. Adding insult to injury the young Conservative will smell of Patchouli oil and stale pot for the rest of the day. Pictured below is the point where a camera in the face results in a sweaty embrace.
Speeches dominated the Capital lawn and Morgan Street became the front lines for shouting at the other side. Neither side could understand the majority of what was being said. The hippie just about put the Tea Party folks over the edge. As they shouted and waved signs this guy stayed with his message that he loved them. This put them over the edge, while I won't go so far as to suggest unconditional love helps sell health reform it does stir up tea party members rather effectively.
If a stoned college student offering his unconditional love wasn't enough to rattle the teabaggers they would be beside themselves if they knew taxes were actually lower this year. They would have known if the group had spent as much effort on covering issues as it does on political arts and crafts.
While the right to free speech and protest is not being criticized, protesting as the true Americans vs. an illegitimate regime is a gross misrepresentation of an administration elected by a solid majority of the people. I take issue with the argument over who is more American, but in my experience using overly emotional fear is easier for them than to get down to the issues.