A person with much, convinced a lot of people with little, all their problems were caused by people with nothing.-BV
Why I disagree with the Tea Party’s Moniker
By Brian Valsavage
Before I start, let me just say that I am a self-employed, registered Republican. But, more relevant to my titled statement, my working class family’s American history can be traced back to eighteen century Massachusetts. My ancestors were already here, raising families, working as masons and farmers by 1775. We were sharing in the construction of America before it was a sovereign nation. That said, I find the whole hijacking of a legitimate, historic event, “The Boston Tea Party” by distilling and packaging the name recognition to further a political agenda, disturbing and perverse.
In 1775, from the perspective of the ruling British leadership, the American colonists who committed this political act were traitors! The British may have even thought of these men as terrorist, but from the perspective of a third of His Majesty's subjects living in the colonies, these were the actions of brave men and the Boston Tea Party act itself was a rallying point. These men were heroes and the cry, “No taxation without representation!” was echoed throughout the colonies.
Although those early Americans tax problems were not the same as we have today. They had a problem with the British Parliament in England imposing taxes without the presence of an agent or representative who had the authority to speak on behalf of the colonists. Personally, I understood that particular point by the age of ten, after all, I’m from Massachusetts also known as Taxachesetts.
This newly branded Tea Party overlaid the pride filled, positive emotions we Americans have towards the original Boston Tea Party much like a wolf covered in sheepskin. Today’s Tea Party politicians employ new-speak to alter the cry, “No taxation without representation!” into “No taxation with representation!” I do not suppose those Eighteenth Century patriots, who risked their lives to perform that act of civil disobedience, would be very impressed with their Twenty-first Century name sakes. In fact, I'm sure of it.
This new Tea Party’s political representatives are quite content to shut down the federal government and force America to break its promises and renege on commitments and obligations the American voters former political representatives had put in writing. Many states, governed by pro-Tea Party officials, spend state revenues fighting the federal government when it attempts to protect that state's citizens. Ever wonder if there might be a connection between this new attitude and the fact that most leaders in our government are former big-business executives and almost all of them are very wealthy as well? Quite a few of the high officials in our state governments were groomed by big business or raised in families of career politicians.
A government's operating agenda and reason to exits is totally different than that of a business. Corporations are well known for their efforts to defer their costs, or the consequences of their greedy business practices, onto someone else. If a company can weasel out of paying money in compensation for additional costs incurred because of their bad acts, they will. If the profit is great enough, and the penalty weak enough, many big companies have already shown they will take the shortest course to profit.
State governments run like corporations share the same view. Welcome to the new political reality. Ethics is a facade. In this money-soaked political climate it is a shame the honorable participants of the real Boston Tea Party have to be smeared by these corporate pirates. Governments are better at ruling people because they have better oversight and accountability than businesses do. As a side note, the original Tea Party hurt business. For example, the fellow that brought in the tea, I'm sure he wasn't very happy about seeing his product in Boston Harbor and many colonists boycotted tea to avoid the tax.
The original Tea Party concept of the American dream was more of a meritocracy and not a country ruled by the moneyed elite. This was the main reason working people from all over the world wanted to come here, and from which arose the greatest generation in American history. After WWII, if a working person was the right color and gender they had the opportunity to live the American dream. That great generation made us safe and gave us, their children, a good start in life.
For the most part, my generation, known as the Baby Boomers, followed the rules and were promised that if we worked hard and contributed some of our hard earned money into the many different financial programs, we too could enjoy at least as good a retirement as our parents. Amazingly, as the first wave of baby boomers were about to reach the promised land of retirement, a financial tsunami sucked a lifetime of equity out of the middle class. This was, arguably, the largest transfer of wealth, upward, in the history of civilization, and from its backwash, this new Tea Party movement emerged.
The Americans who joined this new Tea Party movement were, by and large, the very people bushwhacked and devastated by all of the preceding financial voodoo. The sad truth is, in order to avoid the wrath of the radically disenfranchised, the very people who perpetrated this shell game, big money corporate business and banking leaders, saw the need to defer blame away from their acts of plunder. So here came the astro-turf political movement known as, The Tea Party. This rebranded Tea Party was created for, and funded by, the real takers and job killers: billionaires.
Don't get me wrong, I believe billionaires have as much right to push their agenda as any other special interest group. And the shadowy founders of the Tea Party are due credit for fooling most of their victims into supporting political aims which are contrary to these followers own best interests. I just wish they would not have besmirched our freedom fighters of lore. Perhaps, they might consider rebranding themselves with a more accurate and appropriate moniker? I have one that comes to mind every time a member of The Tea Party is interviewed in the media; how about this group calling itself, ‘The Flat-Earthers?’ Look, it’s just a suggestion and I mean it with love.