“You’re dead; we know where you live; we’ll get you.” - This was a message that greeted Bart Stupack after his vote pro health care reform vote Sunday. “My wife still can’t answer the phone,” Stupak told POLITICO Tuesday. The messages are “full of obscenities if she leaves it plugged in. In my office, we can’t get a phone out. It’s just bombarded.” Stupak's wife has also reportedly received death threats.
What, if anything, does this have to do with the Tea Party? Since the passage of health care reform, many people who claim to be members of the Tea Party have issued similar threats. Politico also reports that “Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Blue Dog Democrat from California, said he’s gotten physical threats over health care reform.” “There are some folks that identified themselves as being members of the tea party [who] called, [and] my staff has gotten to know their names over time, and they have been very loud and very ugly,” Cardoza said.
Tea Party activists recently attempted to post Democratic Rep Tom Perriello's home address online after his "yea" vote for Health Care reform. Mistakenly, they posted Perriello's brothers address. Mike Troxel, an organizer for the Lynchburg Tea Party, encouraged tea party activists to 'drop by.' Reportedly, a gas line was severed at Perriello's brother’s home. No injuries were reported, the authorities are investigating.
At least 5 democratic offices nationwide have been vandalized and threats have been made to 'assassinate' the children of pro-reform lawmakers. The FBI is investigating. These types of stories go on and on.
The definition of Fascism varies greatly but it is essentially an authoritarian ideology that believes in violence and a will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Totalitarian governments believe in rule by a single party and alternate vote are not allowed, often punished with violence or worse.
The current Health Care Reform passed with a majority in the senate, majority in the House of Reps, and finally approval by the president. Hence, it passed the Democratic way. With groups and members of the Tea Party threatening violence and spreading fear to those who passed it, what does that make them? If they are unable to accomplish their agenda through the democratic practice, they now turn to violence and the threat of violence. During town hall meetings, a memo was posted on the Tea Party Patriots Website encouraging and explaining to members how to disrupt discussions on Health Care Reform. Their goal was not to make their views heard but to simply stop the flow of discussion and information.
I believe there are members of the tea party that are good people who choose to freely organize and demonstrate their opinions. However, there is a growing movement within the party to promote violence and/or the threat of violence in order to scare people into voting their way. Disturbing images from the Tea Party protest during the healthcare vote show signs that said “We came unarmed - this time" and "warning if Brown can't stop it, A Browning (showing a picture of a Browning Gun) can" - a sign referring to Scott Brown pledging to stop Healthcare reform but if he can't, a gun can.