Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A History Lesson

Today is Tax Day and as I watched the news this morning I was a little surprised to hear about these "tea bag" parties that are going on across the country today. I was surprised at first because when I think "tea bag party" my mind tends to roam toward the *other*, more adult definition of tea bag and I was shocked that the local news outlets were covering such parties. And then I was all like, "There are PARTIES for that?!?!" Then as I listened on, I came to learn that these are protests organized by Conservatives, calling attention to our big bad government's supposed spending and taxation run amok by tossing actual tea bags around and evoking memories of the Boston Tea Party. Then I was like, "Really?"

A history lesson, if I may, and not just because I minored in History in college...The actual Boston Tea Party that took place all those years ago was staged to protest taxation WITHOUT representation. The colonists were protesting (and rightly so, in my view) because they were being taxed by the King of England without having any means to represent themselves and their best interests in the King's court.

Hey, those of you participating in and supporting these tea bag parties today--note the second word in "taxation without representation". Seems to me that we just had an election a few months ago and hey, we got to elect our leaders who WOULD represent us. We HAVE representation!! So your tea bag parties are stupid.

I guess I'm one of these crazy people that doesn't mind paying taxes, seeing as they allow us to pay for all of that silly stuff like schools and roads and the military. Sure, I don't want to pay more taxes than I have to and I know there is too much spending going on, but it seems to me that this problem didn't magically appear when President Obama took office. I heard some idiot commentator today say that the people holding these tea bag parties today are just a bunch of populist, grassroots organizers who are looking out for the common man, and to that I say, "Bull." Where were these people who are protesting today when W gave tax cuts to the wealthiest of the wealthy? Where were they when the Bush administration was busy screwing over the working class?? They were at home, slyly twisting their mustaches and counting their dough. Unless they didn't have mustaches...then they were just counting their dough.

I'm all for free speech. It's a free country after all, and if you feel the need to protest what you think is unfair taxation, then by all means, go for it. But let's call it like it is. You're just pissed that you lost and this is your way of showing it. You DO have representation, so put the tea bags away and find another object to symbolize your cause.

P.S. Aaron reminded me of this: Seems to me that not so long ago, it was considered treason by some to speak out against the president. So that's not the case anymore??