Friday, April 16, 2010

Face to face with the "Coffee Party"

I had a business meeting this morning and while chatting, the person I was talking to indicated that he was not only a member, but an organizer of the local Coffee Party.

I thought they only existed in the NY Times... :)

I pretended I hadn't heard of it so I could get a better idea of his political fervor, no sense stirring shit if it was just going to make everyone angry. As he explained the coffee party in a well-reasoned manner, without an emotional overload, I decided to talk with him about it. He ended his description by saying it was a kind of rival group to the TEA party, and asked if I had heard of it. I explained that I was a bit of a TEA partier myself, and he didn't instantly react negatively, so we talked about politics a bit.

He basically described the Coffee Party as a group for open factual debate of the issues instead of namecalling. As he explained what they were for and against, he actually hit a number of points that coincided with the TEA party. I realized that the Coffee Party wasn't actually about opposing the TEA party, it was about opposing how the TEA party was being represented. He even expressed surprise that some of the TEA partiers he had engaged were very well reasoned and well informed, but seemed to think they were in the minority.

They were fighting the strawman the media had erected.

I find it very disturbing that the media's oversimplification of the issues is driving a wedge between people who would otherwise agree with eachother.

We finished the political discussion, and returned to business and were just as friendly as before we discovered we were on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Maybe this is because we really weren't.

1 comment:

ErnestThing said...

Sent him a link to my flickr photoset of the TEA partiers. Whether they will be what he expected or not remains to be seen. I'm hoping the actual photos will make him rethink his preconceptions about the party.