Tea Party Movement And The Next Revolution Politics
The tea party movement is the next revolution, and the start of a third party. From the Boston Tea Party, to the American Revolutionary War, and now the Tea Party Movement, Americans have always stood up for their freedoms. Our rich heritage of protesting began with the taxes levied on tea by Britain, which was the dominate reason for the Boston Tea Party. Moreover, this action was the driving force that started the Revolutionary War to free the colonies from the tyranny of British rule. Since the second term of George W. Bush, there has been a change in the air, not from the Government, but from the people.
When George W. Bush won election to his second term and spending went wild, people became alarmed and started paying more attention to their own Government. When Obama won, the presidency and it seemed that this country was moving in the direction of socialism, the people have become worried. This has given life to a new movement the Tea Party; its main purpose upon creation was "a grassroots movement that calls awareness to any issue that challenges the security, sovereignty, or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation, the United States of America." (Robertson) It has spread like wildfire across this country, with local chapters popping up all across America. People, not only conservatives, but liberals, a few democrats, African Americans, and plain ordinary American citizens who are tired of the Government run amuck, are ready to stand up for their freedom, from the possibility of tyranny from their own Government.
On December 16, 1773, an uprising of American patriots occurred, who were tired of taxation without representation. "Several dozen men dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded three ships belonging to the East India Company, cut open 340 crates of tea, and dumped the contents in Boston Harbor." (Raphael 2010 pp.11-13) This act did not originally carry the name of the Boston Tea Party; it was spoke of as the "action against tea" (Raphael) or the "destruction of the tea." (Raphael) Those who participated feared prosecution from the British, and so the event laid in the dark for the next fifty years. The Boston Tea Party is now an iconic event suffused with myth, but below the surface is the story of a true act of Revolution, carried out in a context of power politics, with surprising parallels in the modern era. (Raphael) The Tea Party Movement is one such parallel; they are a group set heavily to the goal of repealing high taxes. They also desire to remove the Federal Reserve System.
The destruction of the tea was not due to higher taxes on tea, but instead the Americans had no say so in how the tax came about, or how the money was to be distributed. "Who ever levied the taxes got to call the shots?" (Raphael) It was about taxation without representation, the colonists wanted self-governance, and the destruction of the tea had become a catalyst for events leading to independence. (Raphael)
The saga began with the British Government bailout of a corporation deemed too big to fail. (Raphael) In 1772, the East India Company saw its stock tumble due to speculative banking schemes in Europe. Consequently, they went to the British and asked for a loan to keep them from going under. (Raphael) In 1773 the Tea Act was carried out by British Parliament, this left the tea tax in place on American imports of tea, but removed the import tax on tea to Britain. (Raphael) The import taxes on tea to America were now lower; however, the British vastly underestimated how the colonists would receive the Tea Act of 1773. They responded with the destruction of the tea and a new motto was born of the patriots "no taxation without representation." (Raphael)
The destruction of the tea did not unite the patriots; in fact, it had the opposite effect. "The next morning John Adams penned a letter to his dear friend James Warren "The Dye is cast." He wrote "The people have passed the River and cut away the Bridges: last Night Three Cargoes of Tea were emptied into the Harbour. This is the greatest Event, which has ever yet happened Since the Controversy with Britain, opened. The sublimity of it charms me." (Raphael) George Washington on the other hand chided Bostonians for their conduct and Benjamin Franklin thought that the East India Company needed to receive compensation for its losses. (Raphael)
What did pull the Americans together was the punishment Britain administered upon them, when Britain closed Boston Harbor and revoked the Massachusetts charter. (Raphael) Britain's goal was to isolate the radicals instead; they formed the Continental Congress and agreed to mount a general boycott of British goods. (Raphael) This was the catalyst leading to independence and the American people saw the British as the aggressor. (Raphael)
In today's political arena, the Tea Party Movement has challenged both the Democratic and Republican establishment, as well as those who claim to be independents. They do not shy away from controversy; they use it to get their message out to the people. They are not the first patriots to invoke the legacy of the Boston Tea Party of 1773. However, todays Tea Party Movement is a revolutionary group seeking to hold its own Government accountable for their actions, and to keep America free from tyranny from within the confines of its own government. People are sick and tired of politics as usual. The Tea Party Movement will back which candidate most closely follows their ideals, party or race does not play a role, only that they stand up for their freedoms and the constitution of the United States. The tea party movement is a healthy reminder that the United States began as a tax revolt. (Magnet 2010 pp. 33-34)
As the colonists moved toward independence, the revolution had begun with vigor. Great Britain had no idea of just how extensively the Americans wanted their freedom. The British severely underestimated just how strong the Revolution was. "WE THINK WE KNOW THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. After all, the American Revolution and the war that accompanied it not only determined the nation we would become, but also continue to define who we are. The Declaration of Independence, the Midnight Ride, Valley Forge- the whole glorious chronicle of the colonists' rebellion against tyranny is in the American DNA." (Ferling 2010 pp. 48-55)
As conventional wisdom shows, the British failed to comprehend the gravity of the challenge, much as our own Government does today. The tea party movement wants to clean up Washington politics, they feel the Government has grown too large, and no longer serves "We the People." Furthermore, the Tea Party Movement is a revolutionary group ready to stand up for their freedoms, just as the colonists did when they became involved in the Revolutionary War to fight the tyrannical rule of Britain. Today's tea party members are ready and willing to take on their own Government when it ceases to serve the people, instead of the elitist members of its own body.
Finally, the Tea Party Movement is still in its infancy and has come under much scrutiny. Moreover, the Religious Right would like to gain control of the Tea Party Movement. There is however a problem, the acronym TEA stands for "taxed enough already," and the movement consists primarily of secular far right activists unhappy with issues like Government spending, the national debt, and health care reform. (Boston 2010 pp.11-13) The Religious Right believes that the Tea Party Movement will fail if it refuses to incorporate Religious Right themes. (Boston) It is my belief that the Tea Party Movement will perish if the Religious Right gains control. However, the Tea Party Movement has a real chance to shake up Washington if they can learn to be a cohesive unit with strength and numbers.
Moreover, the NAACP has branded the Tea Party Movement as a racist group. During the NAACP, convention in Kansas City members passed a resolution saying the party is attracting people and groups hostile to minorities. (Thomas 2010 A.3) "There definitely is racism within the tea party movement," said Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an African American and spokesperson for One People's Project, a Philadelphia-based group that monitors racism. "I've seen it, and it's something they need to deal with now." (Thomas) Members of the movement venomously reject the racist label saying, "Racism is something we find most repugnant," Stienhauser, said. "It damages the movement, and it's just not good for our image or our message." (Thomas) I find racism abhorrent in any form; however, until the Tea Party Movement can become a single entity, they will be subject to all sorts of accusations. I know that there are African American members of the Tea Party Movement. How can a group that incorporates African Americans in its membership be racists to African Americans? The New Black Panthers and the NAACP need to take a step back; race has nothing to do with the Tea Party Movement. It is about taxes and the constitution, not the color of one's skin. "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." (American proverb quotes) In other words until they clean their own organization of racist members to White Americans they need to be quite. The Tea Party movement is for any American, white, black, Hispanic, Indian, or any other nationality that wants to maintain their freedoms. It is time for Americans to stand up and say we will not tolerate this any longer. You are raping the Constitution of the United States and it must stop.
As Samuel Adams, one leader of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 wrote, "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires in people's minds." (Darling 2010 p. 17) One of the many Tea Party groups called, the Tea Party Patriots (many Tea Party groups include the word "patriot" in their names) describes itself as "a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!" Furthermore, The Tea Party Nation says it's "a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms, which were written out by the Founding Fathers." (Anonymous 2010) I find that I do not fit into any one of the two parties, Republican or Democrat. However, I define myself as a Constitutionalist; this part of my beliefs makes the Tea Party Movement attractive to me. Moreover, it is my thinking that, it is time to downsize our Government, reduce taxes on those that work, put to work those who live off the system, and require members of the Government to live under the same laws they pass upon its citizenry. Instead of giving themselves nice, benefit packages and retirement plans. Furthermore, members of the Government are not required to be on the Medicare system, as every other citizen is required to become a member of at retirement. Their actions speak volumes as to how they feel about the little people.
In conclusion, from its beginnings of the Boston Tea Party of 1773, to the Revolutionary War, and finally to today's Tea Party Movement Americans have stood up for their personal freedoms. The people have stood up to fight tyranny from their oppressors. I believe that if our current Government does not pay attention to what the people are demanding them to do; they are looking at a future Civil War. When the Government ceases to serve the people, the people need to implement a new one. As Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." (Anonymous 2009 p.40) You can feel the tension in the air, the unrest of the citizens, and the cries of save our freedoms and the Constitution. I for one will stand right beside them until my dying breath. To fight for my personal freedoms and what the constitution stands for.
Therefore, I believe that the Tea Party Movement could be the next Revolution. If the movement can become unified, and stick to its origins our Government should be very careful, less they all be put out on the streets, due to becoming a tyrannical ruling body. It is also possible that the Tea Party Movement will become a viable third party if they will leave pro-life, prayer in schools, and other edicts of the Christian Right out of their group. Most members are conservatives, but they believe in the separation of Church and State. Stay out of my body, out of my bedroom, and out of my Religion. This is a message that the Republican Right has not yet grasped; they have ignored this, and may be the very reasons Republicans have problems staying elected. The people are looking for a political party that understands it should not create legislation on a person's individual morality, and one that closely follows the messages of our founding fathers.
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