President Obama Targeted In Tea Party Billboard
This billboard takes center stage in an ongoing discussion on the identity of the conservative grassroots movement known as the Tea Party. The billboard, located in Mason City, Iowa, compares President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin, describing his ideology and the nature of his policies as socialism, a description that has virtually plagued him since he announced his candidacy.
As if the images were not enough, the line “Radical leaders prey on the fearful and naive” is emblazoned across the bottom.
The Tea Party itself seems rather divided on the subject, with some calling the billboard a waste of funds and arguing it does nothing to aid their cause. Others support the ad while noting it may be a little strong. A co-founder of the North Iowa Tea Party lightly criticized the images, not the message. He’s quoted in The Huffington Post as having said the following only yesterday.
“The purpose of the billboard was to draw attention to the socialism. It seems to have been lost in the visuals. The pictures overwhelmed the message. The message is socialism.”
As of yesterday, no plans had been announced to remove the billboard. However, today, the billboard was covered and will soon be replaced by the organization.
Iowa Tea Party Coordinator John White sought to distance the Party’s leadership from these types of images in an interview with the Globe Gazette.
“At our last rally we saw some people with these kinds of signs and asked people to put them down. It’s borderline hate crime.”
Keep in mind this is only days after many members of the Tea Party expressed outrage at a (not yet complete) resolution made by the NAACP which seeks to expose, discourage, and denounce racially-insensitive slogans and images displayed at many Tea Party events. Sarah Palin, a strong supporter of the party, said that she was saddened by the resolution.
Like President Reagan, Tea Party Americans believe that “the glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.” Isn’t it time we put aside the divisive politics of the past once and for all and celebrate the fact that neither race nor gender is any longer a barrier to achieving success in America – even in achieving the highest office in the land?
Unfortunately, divisive politics seem to be the only kind available in Washington today. If we really wanted to get past such division, both sides would have to admit some tough truths, stop pointing figures, and decide to move forward together.
The right, it seems, would have to admit there has been unwarranted contempt towards our president and unfair remarks about his race, as well as misrepresentations of the facts—which have overshadowed legitimate arguments and concerns—just to get people riled up in opposition to the leading plans and policies of the day.
The left would have to admit change has not been as pretty, as welcome, or as effective as they would have liked. Sometimes they have misrepresented the facts, as well, in order to help sell their policy plans. After that, both sides would have to realize we all want a smarter, healthier, more prosperous and secure America for ourselves and our children and neither side can bring about such success without the other. Then, the work would truly start.
Instead, we seem more concerned with creating slogans, images, and resolutions than with finding solutions to our nation’s problems. Even after electing a change candidate, the same problems continue.