In the first part of a series titled, “What Sets the Tea Party Apart,” Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks asks, “What is the difference between OWS and the Tea Party?” a rhetorical question tantamount to asking the reader to distinguish a cesspool from a cathedral.
Kibbe might as well have inquired as to the difference between the Occupy Wall Streeters and Denver Broncos’ much maligned quarterback, Tim Tebow, who hasn’t publicly identified himself as a Tea Party member but who clearly shares their philosophy– and their condemnation.
The chief problem with the Tea Party and Tebow in the eyes of their detractors is that they represent everything their detractors are not. As for the OWS mobs, they should study up on the conservative movement and the conservative quarterback after, as Newt Gingrich suggested, they get a job and take a bath.
Many on the Left like to draw parallels between the anti-taxation Tea Partiers and the anti-everything Occupiers in a futile attempt to give a degree of credibility and civility to the latter. The two groups are as dissimilar as cleanliness and dirt.
Kibbe cites the 18th century English philosopher-economist Adam Smith in presenting his argument that the Tea Party is “set apart,” distinctive from other social movements by virtue of its commitment to what Kibbe describes with a single word, “accountability . . . the moral basis that binds a community, allows for cooperation, and enables human prosperity.”
I would add that the stark absence of a sense of accountability, compounded by an even more gross disinterest in civilized behavior, render the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations irrelevant except, of course, to the lives they have negatively impacted.
Adam Smith expressed that sentiment far more elegantly: “The most sacred laws of justice, therefore, those whose violation seems to call loudest for vengeance and punishment, are the laws which guard the life and person of our neighbour; the next are those which guard his property and possessions.”
Though few are calling for “vengeance and punishment” for OWSers other than the enforcement of existing laws, the accountability factor is key to understanding the phenomenon of relatively small masses of people trampling on the rights of the vast majority.
Matt Kibbe sees the issue as the realization of a concept Tea Partiers genetically inherited from America’s Founders and Occupy Wall Street somehow missed: “Don’t hurt other people and don’t take their stuff.”
(Read Kibbe’s erudite piece at http://tiny.cc/jgeye.)
The OWSers respect no one, hurt everyone including themselves and seize whatever “stuff” they can get their socialist, grubby hands on, from public park spaces to the rights of others to property and livelihoods while injuring those parks, those rights, properties, livelihoods, and themselves by their utter contempt for fundamental principles of personal and societal responsibility.
Tim Tebow’s principal responsibility on the football field is to win games for the Denver Broncos and, if he accidentally hurts anyone in the course of executing that duty, he would be contrite and apologetic since, well, that’s Tim Tebow.
He has admitted that he is also accountable to God, religion, and ethical dictates and that antiquated attitude toward morality rankles many in the sports world.
His critics have attacked Tebow’s athletic talents but what evidently bothers them most are other accountabilities.
Following the Broncos’ upset win over the New York Jets last Thursday, a victory engineered by Tebow who wins by doing what less-audacious NFL quarterbacks rarely do, running the ball, often for touchdowns, his disparagers came out in force.
Daniel J. Flynn characterizes those carpers as “Tebow haters,” which is only a tad harsh.
They’re more akin to religion and morality haters but, since it’s much more socially acceptable to rip a quarterback, they focused on Tebow’s abilities rather than on his quirk of kneeling to thank God for his accomplishments and his even weirder personality oddities such as his commitment to remain a virgin until marriage.
Flynn quoted a variety of venomous invective, none of which related to Tebow’s religious fervor or his “quirks.”
Internet experts railed against Tebow (“If God really favored him, he would’ve given him a QB’s arm,” “an overhyped fraud whose time is quickly running out”). Flynn cited a Denver newspaper put-down, “best awful QB in NFL history . . . How can a QB this bad keep winning?”). He quoted Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Rob Ryan who called Tebow’s running game “horse$#!+” that caused him to vomit, adding after he upchucked, “This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”
However, much to the chagrin of upchuckers, Tebow’s teams do tend to win.
Following his Heisman trophy and Maxwell awards and record-setting college career with the Florida Gators, he joined the Broncos and became their starting quarterback earlier this season and has since helped put his team into contention for the playoffs.
But, it’s not Tebow’s unconventional style or unexpected Bronco victories that are tearing up the off-field opposition. It’s that accountability factor, once again.
Although Denver fans love him, although his teammates deeply respect him, although he could and should be lionized by the sports press as a guy who, despite his alleged quarterbacking deficiencies, has quickly evolved into a winner, as Daniel J. Flynn says, a lot of people hate him.
In a normal world, the hatred wouldn’t make sense. In today’s politically-correct world, it makes a ton of sense.
As discussed previously in “Tebowing a PC No-No,” http://tiny.cc/k4gh7, “The Double Standard in Action,” http://tiny.cc/5igb9, and in other articles in this space, Tim Tebow’s chief offense to “progressives” is not running the football instead of throwing it. His crimes against political correctness are more dire: He’s a devout Christian who actively practices and preaches his faith and who is adamantly pro-life in part because doctors had wanted to abort him.
As with the Tea Party as differentiated from Occupy Wall Street, as with Tim Tebow as distinguished from his detractors, only a buffoon would contend the Tea Party and Tebow are perfect. And only liberals would contend that the Tea Party and Tebow aren’t better Americans than Occupy Wall Street anarchists or Tebow haters.