Monday, February 15, 2010
“Taxed Enough Already?”
by John Alexander Madison
February 15, 2010
After victory in the French and Indian War England’s King George III decided to tax the American colonies in an effort to recover some of the costs of the war and reestablish control over the growing independence of the American colonies. The colonists were aggravated after passage of the Stamp Act (1765) and the Townsend Acts (1767). The Boston Massacre in 1770 further served to alienate the colonists. When the King of England tried to impose a tax on tea, well, the rest is history.
The Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773. That evening approximately 45 tons of tea were thrown overboard from three ships belonging to the East India Tea Company, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver. The value of the destroyed tea was about ten thousand pounds (1773) or one million dollars today. If there was a single catalyst for the American Revolution, it was the Boston Tea Party, the straw that broke the camel’s back.
More than two hundred years earlier, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-crossed" lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to "deny (his) father" and instead be "new baptized" as Juliet's lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play. (from enotes.com)
Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
So, what is in a name, Juliet, as in the “Tea Party” of 2010? According to its founder it is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already (TEA).
It is a Movement
So, is the goal of the Tea Party to establish a third major political party in America or is it a real grass roots movement being embraced by majority of Americans? If Tea Party supporters believe it is the former, America is doomed in 2010 since they will split the common sense, traditional and more conservative agenda thinkers. It brings back memories of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader whose agendas (and egos) greatly influenced the outcome of two national Presidential elections.
In 1992, Texas billionaire Ross Perot’s popularity was based on his concerns over the growing federal budget deficit and fears of professional politicians being out of touch with America (sound familiar?). Perot won nearly 19% of the vote which, many believe, handed the presidency to Bill Clinton.
Eight years later, after two unsuccessful runs for the presidency, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, by all accounts handed the White House to George W. Bush. He garnered 97,000 votes in Florida, a state which Bush won by a mere 537 votes. For better or worse, true or not, Democrats and Republicans alike believe America was either better or worse off due to these strong showings by third party candidates.
“Let not your hearts be troubled.” (Sean Hannity)
Rest assured, the Tea Party movement is all about fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and the free market economy. The Tea Party movement is a conservative movement and that, my friends, is the traditional platform of the Republican Party. The Tea Party grass-roots movement is an organized and somewhat desperate plea to all of America, all elected officials in federal and state governments, to return to a more common sense governance model.
Members of both political parties have failed us in recent years.
Notwithstanding traditional party values, Republican, Democrat or Independent candidates for elected offices in 2010 would be well served to adopt the platform of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and the free market economy. Add to that a strong national defense and a respect for life and you have a winning agenda…one which a majority of Americans will support.
If you have any doubt, just asked the citizens of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Now that we agree on the Tea Party’s common sense agenda for a better America, vote for those candidates who adopt it, if you believe them. A good start will be to not support incumbent Democrats who have adopted this president’s agenda OR anyone for whom he campaigns…that should be a dead giveaway.
And, once elected, if these candidates don’t fulfill their promises we must hold them and their colleagues accountable, regardless of their party affiliation.