A me­dia-made Pavlo­vian re­sponse

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - TIM BRYCE Palm Har­bor, Fla.

Over lunch re­cently in a lo­cal restau­rant, I over­heard a pa­tron say, “The Tea Party is too far right.” The man who made the com­ment is an older gen­tle­men in his early 90s, some­one I’ve known through the restau­rant for a long time. He may be older, but he still has his wits about him. He is a re­tired lawyer and a Repub­li­can, so my in­ter­est was piqued when I heard him make the com­ment.

As I got up to leave, I stopped by his booth to say hello to both him and the per­son with whom he was hav­ing lunch. In the course of the con­ver­sa­tion I said that I had heard his com­ment about the Tea Party. As I have met many people from the Tea Party, I asked him why he thought the group was “too far right.”

He hemmed and hawed, and tried to dance around the sub­ject, but he couldn’t give me a straight an­swer. He started to say the Tea Par­ty­ers were against con­tra­cep­tion (a ref­er­ence to re­cent events at the Supreme Court) and that they were against all govern­ment reg­u­la­tion. I coun­tered that this was sim­ply not true and asked him how he came to these con­clu­sions. Frankly, he wasn’t sure. I asked, “Is it pos­si­ble that you are the vic­tim of the spin from the main­stream me­dia?” He stopped, thought about it and con­ceded this may very well be true.

It seems rather ob­vi­ous that the Tea Party has been vil­i­fied by the press and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. It has be­come the icon for evil, which pro­duces a Pavlo­vian ef­fect in people. The Tea Party mem­bers I have met be­lieve in smaller govern­ment that is less in­tru­sive in the lives of the people. They are cap­i­tal­ists who be­lieve in per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity, they con­sider them­selves pa­tri­otic, and they pos­sess a firm be­lief in the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. As I’ve said in the past, if there is a mem­ber of the Tea Party who is a racist, I have yet to meet him.

The Tea Party is vil­i­fied sim­ply be­cause its mem­bers pos­sess a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of Amer­ica, and as such, rep­re­sent a threat to the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion. Think about it: My ac­quain­tance in the restau­rant was a con­firmed Repub­li­can who has al­lowed the me­dia to ma­nip­u­late his think­ing pat­terns. This cer­tainly says a lot about the power of the me­dia.

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