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Tea-Party Run Over by Bus

January 12, 2010

The Boston Tea Party remains an icon of the American Revolution.  It speaks to our independent nature as well as our demanding a voice in any government body that levies a tax on us.  It is only natural for current Tea-Party Protesters to associate themselves with it.  As easy as this connection is to understand, it is only a connection at its surface.

The Boston Tea Party was an event, not a movement.  It was the culminating action of various groups that opposed the Tea Act of 1773.  That act established a monopoly over the sale of tea, for the British East India Company, in the American Colonies.  Before the Tea Party took place on the night of December 16, 1773, in other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, citizens prevented the taxed tea from unloading.  In the case of Charleston, SC, they unloaded the tea but left it to rot on the docks.  In Boston, Governor Hutchinson prevented tea ships there to leave without unloading.  The destruction of the cargo was a direct action to thwart the Governor.

The connection between this historical event and the various groups today assumes a false theory of history – the colonists opposed paying taxes.  In truth, they did not, they opposed a lack of say in the matter.  Tea-Party groups today oppose specific government spending, while American Colonists, as British subjects, protested a lack of representation guaranteed them in the Bill of Rights of 1689.

Furthermore, whatever the original intent of modern-day tea parties, conservative pundits have usurped the movement for there own purposes.  While there is much to oppose with current government actions, the Wall Street bailout for one, the goal of the right-wing conformists is to return control of the government to the very people who created the mess in the first place.  Vehicles like the Tea-Party movement unwittingly play to this end.

If the intent of the Tea-Party movement was to address the concerns of America’s middle class over inequities, how can the people who “threw them under the bus” speak for them now?  The financial mess today rests at the feet of conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey.  They both support efforts of the Tea-Party, some say they are even behind its formation.  Whatever the truth, the Tea-Party movement today has nothing in common with Boston Tea Party.

In the end, conservatives have used the Tea-Party movement successfully.  They have created in it a confusing mash of ideas that key on divisive issues rather than offer meaningful ideas to better the nation.  The conservative bus ran the movement over.

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7 comments

  1. Excellent post – Thanks

    The Tea Party Movement: Strong arm (popular support), mighty bow (taxation without representation issue), but poor aim (liberals).
    The real problem is the link between the very wealthy, and the legislators who protect corporate interests. Break that link and the abuse of the middle class ends.
    See: http://christianliberal.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/liberal-and-tea-party-common-interest/


  2. I beg to differ. I consider myself a “teabagger”, one who stands up and attempts to bring awareness to the citizens of the United States. Which is ultimately what happened many years ago. If you believe that Taxes have not been raised since Obama came came to office..if you believe that this is the Presidency of Transparency…If you believe that your RIGHTS as a citizen are not being taken away…Then I have this to say to you….READ WHAT IS BEING PUSHED THROUGH CONGRESS at this very minute…I have read ALL of it..I speak to my congressmen EVERY WEEK..I know what IS NOT happening in PLAIN site…WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!! If you want the PROOF of what I say is true ..let me know and I will send it to you to READ for yourself. It is common knowledge if you READ.


    • Sue,

      I took issue with the “teabag” comment made by Ben because the media has used it in a sexually deviant way and I really do not wish anything I write to be associated it. I see no reason to call people names just because we do not see eye to eye. My reason for the article was to point out that the same conservative politicians that laid the groundwork for this mess seem to be using the group for their own designs. As far as your other points, I did not talk about my beliefs, I do not understand how you possible can infer what I believe simply because I think the Tea Party movement is under the control of the people that created the problem. One might blame President Obama for the solution, but he did not create the problem.

      Furthermore, I served our country for years and continue to do so to the best of my ability. When it was my time, I did not shirk like so many people who voice their opinions today did, Glenn Beck for instance. I have the bullet holes in my back to prove my willingness to stand up and fight. I may be too old and beat up to serve the military any more but I can promise you, my oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America is as strong today as was when I first made it so many years ago. While I appreciate your kind offer, I really do not need help keeping up with the government, I see the problems, I just understand they are bigger than liberal or conservative.


      • Sue is a typical teabagger. Notice she didn’t give any specifics? That’s because her sources are not legitimate and it’s all lies and bias predictions of what MIGHT happen.


  3. The teabaggers have no idea what they’re protesting. They’re driven by anger, part of which may be rooted in racism. They complain of high taxes, even though Obama cut taxes. They complain of socialism, communism, and fascism, even though they don’t know what the words mean. They claim they want a return to our Constitution, even though most of them probably have never even read it, other than a few amendments in the Bill of Rights that fit their agenda.


    • While I agree with you thoughts Ben, use of terms like ‘teabaggers” just adds to the turmoil. There is really no point in taking the high road if you plan to bring the mud with you.


      • I make no pretense of taking the high road. Just look at my blog! 🙂



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