Confessions of a 'Right Wing Extremist'

My name is Dave Coughlin and I live in Hawthorne, New York.  I am a "Right Wing Extremist" and proud of it. Yes, I am active in the White Plains Tea Party group.

Let's see how I became a right wing extremist: grew up in the suburbs on Long Island and attended public schools - pretty extreme! 

I graduated from West Point, served in the Army for seven years - sounds pretty extreme to me!

I then returned to New York to work for IBM (another extreme organization). Maybe pin-striped suits and wing tips are the new extremist uniform?  I was laid off last year, but was able to retire after 31 years and not join the unemployed. 

I raised my children here in Westchester County and they attended public schools.  I have been married 39 years.  I pay my taxes and vote in every election.  I am also a proud member of the Silent Majority!  Am I the dreaded "Right Wing Extremist" you fear so much?  

Maybe it is the extreme ideology I picked up? I started out in the 60s as a JFK conservative Democrat believing in tax cuts and a strong defense.  As the liberals took over the Democratic Party and abandoned these principles, I became a conservative Republican believing in limited government and American exceptionalism.  As "compassionate" moderates took over the Republican Party and downplayed their principles, I became a Registered Independent.  If nothing else I now receive less fundraising junk mail from the Democrats and Republicans! I still vote in every election, but pay more attention to the individual candidate positions rather than just their parties. 

Over the last twenty years I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the direction in which this country has been going.  A year ago I heard about and attended the first White Plains Tea Party demonstration in front to the Country Center and was hooked.  I attended the New York State Tea Party and spoke on the steps of the Capitol expressing my dissatisfaction with the direction our state is going. 

I attended the September 2009 March on Washington where I found close to a million people who were equally dissatisfied with our country's direction.  A recent Pew poll found that 78% of Americans "dissatisfied with the way things are going in the county today."  This country has made a left turn which is unacceptable to me, and apparently millions more, who can be Silent No More!

So what has happened to Washington?  Politicians say wonderful things and promise wonderful changes if they get elected.  Unfortunately once they get elected I think they undergo electro-shock therapy because they seem to lose their Common Sense!  It is as if before election they want to work for me, but once elected they become tone deaf and view me only as a revenue source to fund their re-election. Many of the things they do Make No Sense to me!    

So what is the impact on me? I am unable to vote for a Presidential candidate, but instead I am forced to vote against the other candidate... holding my nose when I depress the lever to vote.  I believe I am not alone in my thinking, and that a significant number of people either vote their conscience like I do or they don't vote at all.  Perhaps the fact that less than a half the eligible voters in any given election bother to cast their votes is a reflection of this dissatisfaction. The days of a thought leader who inspired your vote are a distant memory.

So what would I like to see? I am an eternal optimist still hoping for a charismatic leader, who believes in American exceptionalism, free market capitalism, limited government, and a strong defense. 

Wouldn't it be nice if this leader also had a plan how to undo the damage done over the last 75 years? If that person could be found, I believe the citizens of this country would embrace this vision and elect this person to multiple terms. I am not really an "extremist." The most important next step is for we, "extremists," to vote out the current hacks and vote in politicians who represent us!  

God Bless America!
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