THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
UNDERSTANDING THE TEA PARTY

Don’t dismiss ‘fringe’ groups — they’re democracy’s hope

October 12, 2010

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I THINK it is completely valid to call into question many of the financial ties of the Tea Party movement, the intolerant views espoused by many of its more vocal supporters, and its lack of a clear policy agenda. However, I think it is particularly dangerous to our democracy to dismiss Tea Partiers as a “fringe’’ group (“Movement is an insult,’’ Letters, Oct. 6).

At a time when political thought is polarized over an increasingly narrow spectrum of ideas to the point of legislative paralysis, broadening the scope of our political awareness and embracing ideological non-linearity seems like a move in the right direction.

I would point out that large portions of what is considered the political left is also considered fringe by Washington standards, yet they too have little electoral recourse except for the Democratic Party. So I find myself applauding the idea and timing of the Tea Party movement, even if I cannot agree with the vast majority of its ideas.

Evan Cordeiro, Somerville

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