I am not going to take any time writing about why I don’t agree with the politics of the so-called “tea party.” There’s plenty of that here.
I’d like to instead give some context about the silliness of their name, and what we should rename them. As addressed in a previous BMG post here, The original Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a protest against the British-owned East India Trading Co., and the British laws they were benefiting from. The root of the struggle, though, was not in regards to taxation generally, but, as James Otis declared when speaking against the Stamp Act, “taxation without representation,” which became a defacto slogan for the movement in the years following 1765.
Opposition to the taxes and policies passed by this congress and administration, real or imagined, are not taxes without representation. Barring protesters from the American territories, each so-called “tea-partier” is properly represented by a congressman, two senators, and the president. Whether or not they voted, and whether or not their candidate won, is a moot point. They are still duly elected officials, and unless they are proposing the abolishment of the system that our constitution clearly established (which has since been significantly democratized by direct elections of senators), there is no basis to affiliate themselves with an unrepresented people.
As such, I propose that the Tea Party rename itself to “The Whiskey Rebellion Party.”
To review, The Whiskey Rebellion was a protest led by western Pennsylvanians against a whiskey tax in 1791. The tax was implemented by the Washington administration, which I think most Americans will agree gained their position in a fair and relatively democratic way.
The Whiskey Rebellion was not successful, but instead was quelled by American soldiers deployed to their region and led by George Washington himself.
So from now on, for the sake of historic accuracy, and to ensure that there is no confusion among children trying to get their facts straight, I implore all advocates and opponents of the anti-tax, anti-Obama confederacy to refer to the movement as “The Whiskey Rebellion Party.” Note: Some Pennsylvanians may prefer “The Whiskey Insurrection Party.”