There were people at various Tea Party rallies who held up disgraceful signs, and issued appalling statements. Those people were few and far between, but because opponents of the Tea Party were determined to find something wrong with it, they did their best to make those particular Tea Partiers into symbols of the larger Tea Party movement.
So, I am sure that no one will mind if I use the same tactic against the Occupy Wall Street crowd, right?
Now, is this tactic fair? Nope. Is it justified? Gosh, I really hope not; I would hate to think that a majority–or even a significant minority–of the Occupy Wall Street crowd thinks that my fellow tribesmen “control Wall Street” (if we do, where is my share of the proceeds?). Do two wrongs make a right? Not since the last time I checked.
But the Tea Party movement–which I hasten to say I do not consider myself a member of (at least not in full)–got unfairly tarred as intolerant because of the actions of a few morons. Many–if not most–of the people who did the tarring are sympathetic (in some cases, very much so) to the objectives of the Occupy Wall Street crowd. They may not like it when their tactic of painting with a broad brush is turned against them, but about the only way they can stop that tactic from being used is by refraining from using it.
And of course, since many of those people are hypocrites, they won’t be willing to use isolated acts of stupidity to characterize the Occupy Wall Street crowd, even though they were perfectly willing to use isolated acts of stupidity to make the Tea Party movement look bad.