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Tea Party does not advocate violence

By Andrew Risavy
On July 8, 2012

The left-leaning website thinkprogress.org recently published an article in response to a statement made by Roy Nicholson, chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, accusing him of advocating violent resistance against the federal government. Nicholsons words were given in response to the U.S. Supreme Courts ruling upholding the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a tax instead of a penalty.

After reading the statement made by the Mississippi chairman, I would like to begin by rejecting the notion that Nicholson was advocating violence. Instead, I will assert that the chairman was merely expressing the need to pursue legal forms of political recourse. Furthermore, I believe his words emanate from a reverence and love for the Constitution and the values that have made this nation great.

I have come to this conclusion for two reasons. The first: He never directly mentions violence as a means of resistance. This is validated when he states, To resist by all means that are right in the eyes of God. Words like this indicate that the man possesses Judeo-Christian values and believes that we must engage in every possible form of legitimate and legal resistance to remove undesirable elected officials.

Secondly, I want to point to the numerous times the Tea Party has gathered in cities and towns across the country with little to no incident. While it does put forth a passionate display of opinion, as a whole it exercises an unheard of respect for the local and federal laws in place when assembling. Since the movement formed in 2009, no major reports of violence, vandalism, etc., can be attributed to the Tea Party movement as a whole. As a prominent leader of the Tea Party movement, I am confident that Nicholson shares the same regard for the rule of law as the millions of members of this national movement.

The real issue here lies in the fact that whenever a conservative group or individual openly and passionately opposes a piece of legislation or a decision by the courts, they are deemed as out in the minority, unstable or, given the above example, inciting violence and advocating treason. The media more often than not takes a legitimate voice of opposition and renders it absurd, yet whenever somebody from the left does the same, they are somehow portrayed as the embodiment of free speech.

However, in this instance it is safe to say that the Tea Partys anger is shared by the American people. In a Gallup poll taken in February of this year, 72 percent of Americans stated that they viewed the individual mandate as unconstitutional. In a similar poll released June 29, Americans were split evenly, with 46 percent agreeing that the health care law is constitutional and 46 percent disagreeing. This statistic, along with many others like it, is a testament to the growing frustration the American people have toward their current leaders.

Anyone interested in writing a column for the Opinions section at the Central Florida Future can contact the Opinions Editor, Kaley LaQuea, at opinions.cff@gmail.com.

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