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…politics: I don’t drink tea so much anymore

May 13, 2011

With Ron Paul announcing his third bid for the Presidency today, I thought now would be as good a time as any to post my first political commentary.

I’m not a poly sci student by any stretch of the imagination, so much of what I write may come off as simplistic.

But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let me speak what’s been irritating me about this Tea Party movement that Paul birthed a couple of years back.

It’s named incorrectly. See, I used to enjoy tea. Sweet iced tea. Subtle hot green tea. Even the orange spice herb tea. Yum. Now all I can think of when I see the word are unreasonably angry people protesting some phantom power structure that magically appeared when the Republicans looked like they were about to lose an election.

Wait. I think I lost my point. Oh, no, no, actually it wasn’t the new spin on what was formerly a really versatile and wholesome beverage. But the name is wrong.

The real Tea Party, the Boston Tea Party, took place over the politically untenable practice of taxation without representation. In other words, they had something to be angry about.

Don’t get me wrong. The new Tea Partiers are mad about taxes, too. The ones that were enacted by lawfully elected representatives. Oops.

So basically, these folks are protesting the process of representative democracy. They’re mad because they can no longer count on the system to agree with them. And if they don’t agree with it, it can’t possibly be right.

And that’s why I’ve always regarded this “Movement” as less of a “movement” and more of a “mass tantrum.” If you think there should be fewer taxes, then shut up, find somebody a little more seasoned than Christine O’Donnell to represent your views, and get her/him elected. What’s to protest?

Sure, I’m eager to break up this Party because I’m ideologically at odds with it. But even if I agreed with it, I have to believe that there are other causes that better warrant taking to the streets.

Do we really want to force action on an issue as complicated as taxes and the federal budget? Now hunger–there’s something to protest. In the time that it’s taken me to write this post, I’m sure that a few malnourished children have perished somewhere in the world. Quick action in certain areas improves or saves lives, and in these cases calls for protests. I’ll eat the iPhone I’m typing this on if taxes ever killed anybody in the U.S.

There. That’s my gripe with the Tea Party Movement. Unless they’re talking about the one hosted by the Mad Hatter, I just don’t get the connection.

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