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Commentary - The Tea Party is not a fairytale

By Hilda Bettermann, Brandon, MN

Well, unlike, the Echo Press' guest columnist, Dennis Dalman, I do not live in a fairytale world. I live in a real world where good and evil are in fierce competition with one another.

The exaggerations and attempted humor used to drive home a point of view (and unfortunately a point of view held by most progressives) is outrageous at best and political rhetoric at its worst.

When a political message seems to be resonating with the public, thereby diminishing the popularity of a certain political party or candidate, the rules of conflict call for attacking the messenger. Since attacking the message isn't working, the rules call for demonizing the messenger, especially if he/she is a conservative. Destroy the person at all costs; the end justifies the means.

It was apparent that Michele Bachmann was the major villain in Dalman's fairytale. In the past, Sarah Palin was the messenger under attack. Hmmmm...wonder why? Perhaps it is because the progressive left believes that a "conservative woman" is an oxymoron. Being the supposed torchbearers for women, how can those progressives in the fairytale bring themselves to attack women as being brainless, clueless idiots? Only because they are conservative women. Why is there no outcry from the progressives in the fairytale when a female, Maxine Waters, ranted in a public speech that "the 'tea party' can go straight to Hell"? Only because she is a liberal, progressive woman. Why is there no outrage from the progressives at our vice president's gaffes - especially when they have put in harm's way our service men and women? Only because he is a liberal, progressive man.

One has to look at the accomplishments of Bachmann and Palin to see that they do have brains in their heads and are not backwards; otherwise, all tax attorneys and former governors must be brainless as well. Conservatism is such a lightning rod that its credibility must be destroyed by the characters in the fairytale.

Eric Cantor and John Boehner were characterized in Dalman's fairytale as hare-brained, mad, and heartless; again, attacking the messenger. Living within our means is not an evil, heartless theory; I think most families try to do that very thing. In the fairytale, it is implied that surely no good thing could come out of their hare-brained, mad, and heartless souls; after all, conservatives don't have brains in the fairytale world. (Read the bills!)

The fairytale's message about the heartless conservatives and the tea party movement is so absurd it is almost laughable. I believe that in the real world where I live, the tea party movement is on to something; otherwise, why is it under such savage attack? Has Mr. Dalman ever attended a tea party rally or meeting? I would invite him to visit the Alexandria Lakes Area Tea Party meetings on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the Broadway Ballroom. I encourage him to go online at and read about what we stand for. We believe in fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government, free markets, and God-centered values. We study the Constitution and use the writings of our founding fathers to help us understand what guided their decisions in developing the Constitution.

The Alexandria Lakes Area Tea Party includes membership of young and old, retirees, educators, business owners, employees of businesses, health care professionals, people from all walks of life - just ordinary folks.

I am involved in the Tea Party movement and in community, state, and national politics - using my faith and the Judeo-Christian values on which our country was established as my compass. Good and evil are at war; and one of them will prevail. The heart and soul of America is at stake.

In the fairytale world, good will not prevail because people will be attacked for their real concerns for our communities, state, and nation. In the real world, I and other conservatives believe that compassion, loving and serving our neighbor, and charitable giving are individual responses and responsibilities because of our faith walk - not because government takes from us and determines who and what non-profit groups should receive our money. I give out of love and compassion and not because I am forced to do so. That brings to mind the "cheerful giver."

I suppose I will be characterized as the mad hatter in the fairytale who drives Alice away. I have been attacked for my beliefs, and that will continue. All I know is that my faith determines my politics; my politics do not shape my faith. I live in a real world where...well, you can finish the story. It is not a fairytale. And, Dennis, I still love you.