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Today’s Conservatives Falsely Claiming Boston Tea Party Legacy

File:Boston Tea Party-Cooper.jpg

Far-right activists are staging so-called “tea parties” on April 15 to protest the fact that in a free society one must pay taxes and abide by the decisions of the electorate.  (Old-time image of tea party above.)

The claim being made by these extreme elements, when they are not advocating violence, is that somehow we are moving towards tyranny.

By trying to steal the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party, Republicans and the extreme right (no distinction appears to exist between the two) are confusing the idea of  no taxation without representation with bitterness about losing last November’s election.

(Here is the link to the Boston Tea Party Historical Society.)

Below is from the web home of a tea party web site. They say here that “Revolution is brewing.” Just what does that mean? Is it violence? What do they think a revolution is in this context?  

Tax Day Tea PartyThe actual New Englanders who were part of the real Boston Tea Party are the same people, or the fathers of the people, who would later become FederalistsUnitarians and abolitionists.  

Today’s Southern-based overwhelmingly white American right has nothing to do with the legacy of the Boston Tea Party.

The only historical  tradition these people are drawing upon is that of the treason of the first shot fired on Fort Sumter in 1861  to begin the Civil War. (Engraving below.)

File:Bombardment of Fort Sumter, 1861.png

America does have a visible representative of the best and most inclusive traditions of American History— The America of Thomas Paine, William Lloyd Garrison, Abe Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Sitting Bull, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. 

That leader is the President of the United States and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. 

File:Ann Dunham with father and children.jpg

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Colonial America, Martin & Malcolm, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Colonial Loyalists As Modern Conservatives With Bonus Tarring-And-Feathering Picture

 

Here is a description of the mindset of the 18th-century British loyalist —or Tory— in America on the eve of the American Revolution. This excerpt comes from Vernon Parrington’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Colonial Mind 1620-1800.

See how what Parrington describes matches political types we see in America today—

We must first take into account….Tory philosophy. Compressed into a sentence, it was an expression of the will-to-power of the wealthy. It’s motive was economic class interest, and it’s object the exploitation of society through the instrumentality of the state. Stated thus….it lays itself open to …criticism….In consequence, much ingenuity in tailoring was necessary to provide it with garments to cover its nakedness.

Embroidered with patriotism, loyalty, law and order, it made a very respectable appearance; and when it put on the stately robe of the British Constitution, it was enormously impressive. 

It seems that the conservative mind and the conservative approach to politics does not change much with time. (Hence, I suppose, despite the radical nature of some on the right today, the term “conservative”)

As a low-minded bonus to readers, please note the illustration of the man being tarred-and-feathered in Colonial Boston.        

In this case, British tax collector John Malcolm is being tarred-and-feathered and forced to drink hot tea as reprisal for the tea tax that spurred the Boston Tea Party.

The image is a British propaganda piece. Though, that said, the noose is an awful image at any time in history.   

Tarring and Feathering was vigilante justice. I’d like to think that even a friend of Samuel Adams such as myself would not have taken part in the practice.  

I would have been , like Thomas Paine then, or a blogger today, a propagandist for the Revolutionary side.

October 9, 2007 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, Political History, Politics | , , , , , | 4 Comments