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Americans shouldn’t drink the tea being served

The Tea Party is celebrated nightly on the Fox News channel as patriots.

The coverage usually begins with a rant by an ill-informed person hysterically taking liberties with the truth. The member glamorizes and advocates for a return to 1776.

This is interesting when the member is a woman or minority. They forget that at this earlier time they would have been born into a life of servitude without voting rights.

The Tea Party advocates for the power structure, regulation and federal tax policy that was sufficient when we were an agricultural based economy. In that day, our typical citizen could homestead a few dozen acres and work out an existence until death at the ripe old age of 35.

The notion that a modern society can flourish with only the national defense being provided for at the federal level, or some variable of that, is horribly antiquated.

While our government is far from perfect, it still provides many valuable services. We need revenue equal to our spending.

I do not suppose that the Tea Party crowd would be that much happier with lower taxes and regulation at the federal level, just to have a similar increase at the state and local levels.

Imagine how a domestically weak federal government might have faired attempting to end segregation, or in eradicating some of our most dreaded diseases.

Many of these folks promote the idea that taxes are without merit and that a near zero percent tax rate will send our economy souring and happy meter spinning.

Before you get too excited for the good ole days, consider the services that your tax dollars fund. Interstate highways, childhood vaccinations, airports, utility infrastructure, educational assistance, national park service, food and drug oversight and the list goes on.

These are all necessities in a modern society.

Would you like to pay toll everywhere you drive in a for-profit highway system? Or perhaps write a check before the for-profit fire department puts out the fire in your house? Maybe you could afford a for-profit waste treatment plant, but your neighbor 20 feet away could not.

How would you feel about this position if you were looking at a child stricken with polio because his parents were unable to afford a for-profit vaccination program?

Any health care system needs regulation and subsidies in order to protect the values that most share as human beings.

This is the stance that the rest of the industrialized nations have taken and it is the right one. When emergency rooms are the primary care facility or when disease is allowed to progress to advanced stages before treatment is sought, we spend multiples of what is necessary.

If our neighbor is unproductive due to an unobtainable medical procedure, we all lose, and our fellow man’s life is diminished from this unnecessary human suffering.

Before someone tells me “we have the best health care system in the world,” if it is medical advancements, you may be correct.

If you measure by life expectancy, quality of life, individual financial burden and access, you couldn’t be more wrong. Claiming American supremacy in every area is not patriotic, it is idiotic.

A true patriot is mature enough to recognize areas for improvement, and take the difficult steps to correct them.

Frivolously slinging around terms like “socialist” and “communist” are very effective in shutting down progress and political enemies. Those who have enough backbone to stand for what is right, despite these attacks, are the true patriots.

Glenn Bennett

Catlettsburg, Ky.