As a registered independent it amazes me that the vast majority of your readers (and the PG, plus Mr. Rogers, not the beloved one) are apparently frightened by political populism different from their own. You would think that the Tea Party was the Gestapo or the KKK. I thought, historically, that people or organizations had a right to express opinions, political in their case, even though they may not be universally accepted, especially by people who have different ones. That used to be called democracy.
I don't follow the Tea Party closely or even accept all of their beliefs, but I do some of them, like fiscal responsibility of government. Why are they so vilified by the political establishment? Why are they blasted by the big-time media folk as if they have no right to express their beliefs? The drumbeat of the national and local media about this small group who have a different perspective of how government should be operated -- like balancing budgets and other conservative principles -- is endless. Why is there so much aggressive and hateful reaction from the mainstream media and the readers of the PG?
I know I am old-fashioned, but I thought that's what made us America -- the ability to express your opinion, as I am doing today, without fear of being told not to express these opinions. Is that what the majority wants? No dissent? No other way? I can read the PG each day and find little of my beliefs, but I read. Sometimes there is something that changes and affects my beliefs. For me there is great value in listening to those you normally disagree with. We can accept or reject others' beliefs, but we should always have respect for their right to express them.