American conservatives should be more supportive of the Egyptian protesters, because the same slipshod “logic” that has been used to smear them also has been used to smear the Tea Partiers.
Indeed, the Left discovers within the Tea Party movement a few wholly unrepresentative instances of questionable racial rhetoric and racially-tinged signs; and it declares that the Tea Party is racist and animated by a hatred of black people. This is not true, of course, as anyone familiar with the Tea Party movement knows.
Similarly, we know from independent and credible firsthand accounts, as well as the protesters’ own own statements and actions, that anti-Semitism and a hatred of Israel are not the driving force behind the Egyptian uprising.
Instead, the protesters are deeply disillusioned, angry and dissatisfied with the Mubarak regime. They resent its authoritarian political rule and its inept and regressive public policies which have stymied political and economic progress in Egypt.
Now, the analogy is inexact because anti-Semitism is, in fact, widespread in Egypt and the Middle East. By contrast, in America — and certainly within the Tea Party movement — racism has been marginalized.
Nonetheless, in both instances — for both the Tea Partiers and the Egyptian protesters — there is a rush to smear and discredit legitimate democratic opposition based upon the actions of those who do not really speak for and to the opposition.
American conservatives, who have been smeared too often themselves, should not sanction the smearing of others, especially our democratic allies overseas.
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