Contrary to innuendo and the smears of biased reporting, the grassroots Tea Party garners support from virtually every socio-economic class and religious persuasion.

Last week, one of my Facebook friends shared a link to a YouTube video of Leonard Cohen performing his song “The Future,” along with her silly comment that, “This ought to be the Tea Party’s national anthem.” Some of her other friends piled on in derisive hilarity and shared the link on their Facebook pages, too.

Since I am not familiar with Mr. Cohen’s work, I looked up the lyrics to see what my Illinois friend was talking about. The first stanza offers nothing to support her facetious suggestion:

“Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It’s lonely here,
There’s no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
That’s an order!”

The second stanza is not suitable for publication in a family newspaper or website, but this final stanza, does not indicate a Tea Party connection, either:

“Give me back the Berlin Wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don’t like children anyhow
I’ve seen the future, baby:
It is murder.”

I understand that her post was intended to amuse, but beneath the joke there is unmistakable animosity. My Facebook friend is a college-educated career woman. How did she — and her friends — arrive at the ridiculous idea that the Tea Party stands for repression, control, violation and murder?

Either they are rehearsing a skit from DC Comics’ Bizarro World, where everything is the opposite of what it is on planet Earth (a most unlikely scenario), or they suspended their critical faculties a year and a half ago and are content to gulp and regurgitate headlines and sound bites from leftist media.

What concerns me is that, undoubtedly, there are many others who have done precisely the same thing and who will be casting their ballots in November.

Contrary to innuendo and the smears of biased reporting, the grassroots Tea Party garners support from virtually every socio-economic class and religious persuasion (agnostics and atheists, included), and both sides of social issues like abortion, gay rights and immigration. What brings the diverse Tea Party supporters together is not a social agenda, but opposition to the expansion of government, redistribution of income and monumental debt that, unchecked, will destroy the nation.

According to Gallup polls of Tea Party supporters in May and June of this year, 92 percent of respondents said the federal government is a threat to the nation’s well-being; 90 percent considered terrorism to be a serious threat; 87 percent disapproved of the job congressional Democrats were doing; 85 percent believed the size and power of the federal government are a serious threat; and 83 percent said Obama, and most members of Congress, don’t deserve re-election.

Again, this is not a homogeneous demographic: 22 percent of Tea Party supporters polled were not Republicans (or independents who leaned that way); nearly a quarter of them were not white; 31 percent were not conservatives; 38 percent were not married; and 44 percent were not men.

I believe we are approaching a crossroads on Nov. 2 that will set our course for good or ill. We may choose to regain the road that, in the late 19th century, encouraged individual initiative and led to unprecedented national prosperity. Or we can continue on our current path to ruination via statism, variants of which have failed or are failing now around the globe (i.e. Cuba, where President Castro recently decreed that private enterprise will have to save the ship, and Greece, now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and embattled by national strikes and protests).

Whichever we choose, we won’t be able to say we didn’t know where the road would take us.

Macedon resident Cheryl Miller can be e-mailed at Fortuna_reilly@yahoo.com.