The Background

To understand where someone is coming from, we have to understand their language.  So when I read the following phrase, I looked it up. 

You just got owned.

In this context here is what the verb own means.

own    verb
to defeat someone severely, as in a verbal argument or in a competition, often to the point of humiliation. To “put someone in their place.”

Humm.  That does not sound nice. Why would anyone want to do that? Can’t we all just get along?  Well, getting along can be difficult at some places.  One of them is at the Blue Ridge Muse.  Some time back I left a comment on this post, Tea Party racism.  A reply to my comment eventually resulted in the observation  “you just got owned” by a couple of latter commenters. 

This usage of the word own owes its origin to computer gaming. So I expect the latter commenters are either boys or relatively young. In any event, they did not understand what they were reading.  Since this blog exists to educate, let’s get started.

The Explanation

The whole point of Tea Party racism is to attack the Tea Party movement. What is the Tea Party movement? The movement is actually hard to define. It arose spontaneously in response to what a lot of people perceive as irresponsible government spending.  There is no Tea Party Leader or official Tea Party. There is just a bunch of people who want the Federal Government to obey the rules in the Constitution and stop spending all their children’s and grandchildren’s money.  Unfortunately, some people like Doug Thompson have chosen to characterize the movement as racist. So I challenged Thompson’s assertions of racism as unsupported.

After I wrote my comment (here), Thompson proceeded to attack me personally (here).  This sort of thing is typical of someone who cannot substantiate his arguments. Its purpose is to distract from what would otherwise be an obvious lack of evidence. Unfortunately, since no one is perfect, constantly attacking can be wonderfully effective “debating” tactic. All that is required is to keep rolling from one attack to the next. Thus when Thompson started claiming personal knowledge of the Tea Party movement as a conspiracy (here), I decide quit the “debate” as a useless waste of time.  I won’t live long enough to unravel all of Thompson’s silly nonsense. He would not even stick to one subject. As soon as I started unraveling one of his arguments, he would just move onto something else. Unless I chose to reduce myself to his level, I would always be on the defensive.

Such a discussion cannot be a logical debate. It is muckraking. Unfortunately, Thompson’s nonsense sound impressive to younger minds.  Until it has been examined closely, an agile tongue willing to say anything to score points can look pretty good.  To realize the absence of anything constructive takes a bit of discernment.

Debate involves an exchange of ideas.  To help each other, we offer up our own thoughts.  Once we have shared our thoughts, we no longer own them. They belong to anyone willing to listen.  So if we are wise, we listen carefully for the thoughts of others.

The sharing of thoughts. That is what the Tea Party is about, millions of Americans sharing their thoughts. To recover our nation’s heritage from those who would trash it, we have rallied throughout the nation. We have reaffirmed our flag, the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and a belief in the greatness of America.

The Tea Party movement has not sought to own anyone. Instead, we have demanded the rights God gave each of us to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. If that seems hard to understand, it is because it is hard to understand the belief that God endowed us with our rights, not some distant king. So it is that over two hundred years ago, a revolution began with a Tea Party. Men had to share their thoughts, explain their beliefs, and fight for their rights in a bloody war. Let us hope and pray that in this day we can skip the war.

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