The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Tea Party vs. Coffee Party

Conservative versus Liberal. Republican versus Democrat. Now we have … Tea versus Coffee? When I heard of this recent political conflict, the first thing that went through my mind was “Seriously? Do we really need another title for these two groups?”

However, while each party seems to connect more with either the liberal or conservative mindset, these parties cannot be classified under just these two categories.

The Tea Party has been operating for about a year now. It began when thousands of people gathered to protest government taxation. Since then, thousands more have joined in their battle against taxation, national health care, and any other federal government programs.

To put it simply, the Tea Party’s mission is every man for himself. They believe Americans should make their own living without the aid or intervention of the federal government.

It sounds harmless enough. Every American has the right to express their opinion about the way our government is run, after all.

However, upon visiting their Web site, I encountered several phrases that uniquely defined what makes a “true American.” It gave me the impression that only these “true Patriots” could join this party and seemed completely unwelcoming to anyone who did not share their views on government control.

Obviously, I am not the only one who sees this in the Tea Party’s mission. Several people have also met to discuss their opposition to the Tea Party’s ideas. Thus the Coffee Party was formed.

Over the past few months, people have met in coffee houses all over the nation to discuss some of the same issues that the Tea Party is trying to tackle. But they offer different solution than their rival party.

The Coffee Party’s mission is to address issues that people have with the government through cooperation and unity instead of the opposition and rejection the Tea Party utilizes. Members of this party strive for greater diversity in hopes of finding a solution to the problems that the citizens have with the government.

Guilford College operates with the principle of promoting diversity and accepting all perspectives. In this environment, I do see differences but I mainly see community. In this environment, I see disagreement, but I also see patience, tolerance, and acceptance. We make progress when we can.

Perhaps we don’t make as many changes as we might hope for, but we do make things happen. We try to improve ourselves and our community.

From my experience here at Guilford, I can relate more to the party that screams, “We don’t care who you are; we just want you to be here!” instead of the one that demands “You are an American. Prove that you are worthy of being American!”

The Coffee Party and the Tea Party are still relatively new to me, so perhaps I am making too quick a judgment. However, if we are to really make changes that we so desperately need in the way our government is run, we cannot approach this through a narrow, one-sided gaze. We cannot respect some opinions while turning a blind eye to others.

If the people are unhappy with the government, then we aren’t going to make any progress by satisfying certain citizens while ignoring the others. Otherwise, we will be stuck in a never-ending cycle, where there is always some resentment toward our government.

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