Twenty-First Century Tea Party
- 5 April 2009 by Author 0 Comments
Twenty-First Century Tea Party
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 04/05/2009
On a cold December night two-hundred and thirty-five years ago, a few dozen men boarded three English ships heavily laden with English tea in Boston and tossed their contents into the harbor. The event became pivotal for American revolutionaries protesting King George’s ability to tax the colonists without representation. This revolutionary event, “The Boston Tea Party,” has become iconic to an America that resents unjust taxation, and lack of accountability in levying taxes.
That same revolutionary spirit seems to be building nationwide. “Tea Parties” are being planned across the nation in protest of proposed profligate spending, proposed increases in taxes, and a spineless congress that serves as a rubber-stamping lapdog to the new administration.
Not surprisingly, the national media, which the media analyst Bernard Goldberg claims has maintained a “slobbering love affair” with the new president, is refusing to cover the story that seems to be growing exponentially in momentum. Media’s reticence proves their complicity and their ideological bias, for they provided a national forum for a single protesting anti-war activist camped outside Crawford, Texas, but refuse to cover the thousands of planned “tea parties” across the nation.
A simple internet search turns up plans for an April 15 demonstration against Washington’s fiscal irresponsibility in over 1500 cities nationwide, with some of those anticipating up to thirty-thousand participants.
This is pretty remarkable. Those who are fiscally and socially conservative usually don’t engage in the typically over-sensationalized symbolism of protests. After all, most of them have jobs, work hard to support their families, and are usually considered to be among the “silent majority.”
The attitude behind this mentality is captured fairly well in an email I recently received. It declared, “There’s a storm a brewin’. What happens when good, responsible people keep quiet? Washington has forgotten they work for us. We don’t work for them. Throwing good money after bad is NOT the answer. I am sick of the midnight, closed door sessions to come up with a plan. I am sick of Congress raking CEO’s over the coals while they, themselves, have defaulted on their taxes.
“I am sick of the bailed out companies having lavish vacations and retreats on my dollar. I am sick of being told it is MY responsibility to rescue people that, knowingly, bought more house than they could afford. I am sick of being made to feel it is my patriotic duty to pay MORE taxes. I, like all of you, am a responsible citizen. I pay my taxes. I live on a budget and I don’t ask someone else to carry the burden for poor decisions I may make. I have emailed my congressmen and senators asking them to NOT vote for the stimulus package as it was written without reading it first. No one listened. They voted for it, pork and all.
“O.K. folks, here it is. You may think you are just one voice and what you think won’t make a difference. Well, yes it will and YES, WE CAN!! If you are disgusted and angry with the way Washington is handling our taxes. If you are fearful of the fallout from the reckless spending of BILLIONS to bailout and “stimulate” without accountability and responsibility then we need to become ONE, LOUD VOICE THAT CAN BE HEARD FROM EVERY CITY, TOWN, SUBURB AND HOME IN AMERICA. There is a growing protest to demand that Congress, the President and his cabinet LISTEN to us, the American Citizens. What is being done in Washington is NOT the way to handle the economic free fall.”
No doubt many of us sympathize, and feel the same frustration with the demagoguery of the politicians in Washington, the seizing of once proud companies that symbolized the manufacturing expertise and financial prowess of American industry, and the proposals to spend our nation’s future into oblivion.
I’ve never been the type to protest. I’ve always thought it to be too long on symbolism and short on substance. But this one that’s brewing nationwide is based wholly on substance, and the symbolic significance is validated by the groundswell of support all across the fruited plain.
Washington’s collective irresponsibility has lit a match to the American revolutionary spirit, and each week throws more kindling on the growing conflagration. If the current batch of “leaders” don’t want themselves numbered on the unemployment rolls in a couple years, they’d better wake up.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.