Big Tent or Little Tepee
The Daily Show on September 5 featured impromptu interviews with numerous people in attendance at the Democratic National Convention. Claims of inclusiveness included boasts that “we are the big tent party”, “we are the party of inclusion”, “we have just about everyone you can possibly imagine in the party”, “we don’t stereotype or generalize”, and “we represent everyone”. The humorous four minute clip of these interviews contrasted the claims of open-mindedness on the part of the delegates with statements by these same interviewees deriding fellow Americans. One interviewee stated, “We even invite the red neck freaks in.” Another referred to fiscal conservatives as “the tea-baggers”. Still others called political opponents “small minded” and “wack job evangelical gun nuts, while deriding those with differing views as “not having a clue about science.”
Apparently, “acceptance”, “tolerance”, and “inclusion” applies only to accepting people with physical characteristics. Of course, this is PART of the definition. However, within the modern Democrat Party, this definition of genuine acceptance within the party does not seem to extend to those with IDEAS which diverge from the more extreme elements within the party.
The rigid ideology of many leaders of the party became publicly evident as hundreds of delegates loudly booed a motion to include in the platform support of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Yet, that moment merely illustrated just how hostile the party is to ideas which diverge from the entrenched special interests which serve as guiding lights to Democrat leaders.
Somehow the Democrat Party manages to advertise itself as the “Big Tent Party”. Yet, much of the party’s creed shrinks the space from a big tent to the size of a tepee. Consider that the current platform opposes “any and all efforts” to limit abortion rights. The fact that only 41% of Americans are pro-choice shows how far removed the Democrat Party is on this issue in particular. In fact, many of the 41% who identify as pro-choice still support restricting access to late term abortions. The platform jumps even further outside the mainstream by voicing support of government funded abortions- a practice which 2/3 of Americans oppose. “Big Tent Party” or “Tepee Party”—you decide.
On the issues of SCHOOL choice, the Democratic Party nearly always sides with the demands of the American Federation of Teachers rather than heeding the cries of those suffering in failing schools. Of course, while the status quo supporters within the AFT are greatly outnumbered by the number of students in subpar schools, the AFT donates far more to political causes. And it’s the AFT which dictates the orders to the party. Regarding the concept of “American Exceptionalism”, 80% of Americans agreed that “the U.S. has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world.” Yet, the standard bearer of the Democratic Party, President Obama, stated, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” This represents a far different perspective than that expressed by 80% of Americans in a recent Gallop poll.
Time and time again, the modern Democratic Party proves to be the “Tepee Party” rather than the “Big Tent Party.” Those who dare enter the “tepee” with any views diverging from the rigid party ideology risk exposure to derision and condescension. If you’re a loyal Democratic National Convention attendee, tolerance apparently does not include respecting those with different solutions or ideas. Rather tolerance involves accepting those who already think in the accepted, pre-approved manner of those within your so-called “big tent.”