Every 4th of July, without fail, I’ll see a few nutjobs come out with their “America, love it or leave it” or “This is America, speak English” stickers and such. Despite the ridiculous irony that their stickers, t-shirts and flags are made in China or a Bangladeshi sweatshop, there’s something else they’re entirely unaware of. The fact is, the Founding Fathers would have hated the Tea Party – misspelled signs and all.
Yes, you heard that right, they would have despised the ammo-hoarding sycophants of AM talk radio for a number of reasons, and would have likely lined them up in front of a firing squad or fitted them for a noose if this was the 18th century.
First of all, the original Tea Party was a protest of being forced to pay taxes on imported goods for which there was no competition. The East India Trading Company had the cozy relationship with the British government that allowed them to have a monopoly on tea and other items. Imagine Walmart being the only store from which you could buy and they dictated both cost and taxes on everything. The real Tea Party wasn’t about mentally unstable rants about oppressive government and imagined Muslim takeovers, it was about actual oppressive government in which there was no representation for the colonists.
In the modern United States, we do have representation and theoretically, everyone can vote. The American Revolution used bullets because ballots weren’t available and the East India Tea Company had too much power in government. Now we have ballots and so-called “patriots” are trying to take away voting rights, talking about using bullets if they don’t get what they want, and supporting corporate power in government via Citizens United. You know, the opposite of what the Founding Fathers and the real Tea Party were all about.
Still don’t believe the Founding Fathers would have brought out the army against the Tea Party? Consider this. In the 1790’s, some settlers in the western portion of Pennsylvania didn’t want to pay taxes on whiskey they produced and destroyed the home of a tax official in protest. In response, George Washington sent out the state militia (you know, that “well-regulated militia” in the 2nd Amendment) to put down what is now known as The Whiskey Rebellion. This set the precedent for states enforcing the laws set by the Federal government, not the states making laws like Arizona has done in violation of Federal statutes and then complaining when the Supreme Court strikes them down. The main participants on the rebel side were arrested and tried for treason, not given celebrity status on Fox News.
So, to people like Ted Nugent and all the other “I’m gonna overthrow the government but I was too chickenshit to fight in Vietnam” people who like to wrap themselves in Chinese-made American flags, stop pretending the Founding Fathers would have liked you and supported your corporate-funded “grassroots” cause. They would have tarred and feathered you before running you out of town on a rail – if you were lucky.
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