Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for TEA Party

It’s all about Taxation, stupid!

My wife doesn’t understand the nature of the TEA Party movement. But she is not alone; most people who are not part of it don’t get it either. In order to understand it, it is helpful to understand the Boston Tea Party of 1773.

In the 1760’s King George III piled on the American colonists with numerous tax acts and ever-increasing controls. It was his attempt to tax tea that finally pushed the colonists over the edge.

The colonists had refused to pay the levies of the Townsend Act claiming that they had no obligation to pay taxes to a Parliament where they had no representation. Even though Parliament felt pressured to retract the Townsend Act, in an effort to show the colonies that they still maintained control and the right to impose taxes, they retained a tax on tea.

And then they concocted a clever plan. Just like congress is wont to do today, they established a monopoly on the importation of tea to the colonies. The only importer they allowed was a struggling enterprise; The East India Company.  And then, and this is the clever part, they drastically reduced the import duty tax on the tea so that the colonists would then be able to purchase their tea at much lower prices than ever before. Parliament’s underlying motive, however, was to entice the colonists to continue purchasing tea and paying the taxes, thereby cementing its right to tax the colonists.

For the colonists, tea was a staple of everyday life. It was like our addiction to coffee. Parliament presumed that they would rather pay the taxes than do without their tea. Parliament was wrong. Shipments arriving in New York and Philadelphia were not allowed to land. In Charleston, they were able to dock but the colonists confined their shipments to warehouses where the tea was stored for three years.

When three tea-laden ships arrived in Boston in 1773, about 7,000 colonists were incited to an angry protest. At a mass meeting, it was decided that the ships should leave their harbor without the payment of any duty taxes. But the Crown’s Collector of Customs refused to allow the ships’ leave without collecting the taxes. Later that evening about 200 men, some disguised as Indians (if this offends you, refer back to Q), boarded the three ships and tossed their entire payloads into the harbor.

The colonists sent a loud and clear message back to Parliament: "Take Your Taxes and Your Tea and Shove ‘em!"

Parliament’s reaction was to enact the Intolerable Acts, which, among other measures, shut down all commerce in the Port of Boston.

So, the Boston Tea Party was the beginning of the American Revolution.

Today there are many politicians and pundits who still don’t get it. They have misread the will of the people and they comfort themselves under their delusion that the TEA party is over.

It is not a political party. It is not Left or Right. It is about regular, patriotic, freedom-loving American citizens who have been Taxed Enough Already. It is a grassroots movement among the people to take back their constitutional government, elect representatives who will listen to them, and reclaim their God-given freedoms and rights.

The TEA Party is NOT OVER. It is a sleeping giant.  It may be silenced for a while, but it is deadly. In the past two election cycles, TEA Party patriots have gained elected seats in both houses of congress, chosen conservative governors and have made progress in many local elections.  There will be more elections and American Patriots will not continue to allow their elected representatives to ignore them, suppress them, overtax them, over regulate them, and control them.  The smell of the Second American Revolution is in the wind.


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