9:09 PM | Posted in
Conservatives are all a flutter these days about organizing what they call a tax day "tea party" hearkening back to that famous protest in which the people of Boston organized a protest of the Tea Act passed by Parliament. Unfortunately, they have made a fundamental mistake in the naming of their tax day protest. Whether by sheer lack of understanding of the events that led to the original Tea Party or by simply not having actually studied the events they have chosen an event which has little, if anything, to do with taxes.

For the benefit of my historically challenged friends on the right, let us review some key facts.

The Boston Tea Party was essentially the colonies response to the Tea Act which had been passed through Parliament in 1773.

What was the Tea Act?

The Tea Act was a way for the British to keep afloat the East India Tea Company by allowing them to sell their tea in the colonies for rock bottom prices. There were no taxes raised by the act and it actually lowered the price that colonists would have paid for tea.

So, what was the Boston Tea Party all about?

The colonists felt that Parliament was once again imposing their will without providing representation. Also, the fact that colonial merchants would be adversely affected moved them to protest these actions.

What, then, does this have to do with the modern day "tea party"?

Other than being a protest, NOTHING. First, these people are protesting the legitimately elected government of the United States. They have representation (whether they agree with that representation or not) and thus cannot claim any connection to protesting unfair laws without representation. In fact, history can teach us what happened when protests occurred over taxes in which Americans had representation. Second, the historical protest had little to do with taxes and more to do with what was an unfair trade deal.

At some point you have to wonder if the party of "patriotism" will actually study the history of the country which they claim to love so much. Until then, is it too much to ask for you to give your protest a name which reflects true history? Perhaps yours could be the modern day Whiskey Rebellion (although that tax rebellion was put down with military force from that Anti-American George Washington).