During the course of American history, there have been sporadic outbursts of “reform” groups which express disdain for the present which is viewed as corrupt and tainted by vestiges of “un-American” components. The famous Populist Party which emerged in the last decade of the 19th century stemmed from farm groups which regarded industrial leaders and the influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe as harbingers of a dramatic change in the composition of the American population. It is not surprising that studies reveal the vast majority of Tea Party leaders are from the upper middle class and essentially white. Their demands to “return to laissez faire” and end government regulation of business is closer to Jeffersonian Democrats in the early 1800s than to Republican nineteenth century leaders like Abraham Lincoln who welcomed industry and wanted the federal government to subsidize railroad expansion. Ironically, Tea Party goals of ending government regulation fly in the face of Republican Progressives of the early 20th century who, under leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, wanted government regulation of business corporations and laws to regulate the working place, end child labor, protect women at work, etc….
Tea Party leaders in demanding “give me back my America” are seeking a return to an America which has long ceased to exist. Prior to the Civil War, most American farmers raised for themselves or the local market. An industrial world meant there were now 30,000,000 customers in cities anxious to purchase farm products. Technology now allowed US farmers to sell anywhere in the world. As late as 1940, about 90% of what Americans purchased was made in America. Tea Party leaders want a return to a WASP controlled America which could exist without large scale government intervention. The Populist Party– farmers– were the ones who introduced the graduated income tax– NOT SOCIALISTS. Republican leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft wanted government regulation. In 1890, a Republican Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust act, NOT SOCIALISTS.
If the Tea Party wants to help America it will focus on the Future, not the past. As of this point, there ideas border on the ludicrous for a modern post industrial society. For example, China is plunging into Africa and South America and offering billions in aid. How can American businessmen compete with such offers? Wake up Tea Party folk and offer programs for the 21st century.
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Tea Party supporters such as Dr. Rand Paul, son of Ron, Senior, display and amazing ignorance of history when discussing the past of their nation. Tea Party advocates cite the famous Boston Tea Party as the symbol of reducing taxes even though the British had REDUCED the price of tea at that time. Dr. No Rand displayed a complete unawareness of civil rights in American history by telling reporters he had misgivings concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1965 because he thought “a lot of things could be handled locally.” Schmuck, local groups had passed laws that deprived Negroes of their civil rights, why would they be the ones to be in charge of civil rights? In 1957, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower had to send the army into Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce integration of the high school. Negro children were escorted by soldiers pass local mobs of hate yelling men and women who even spit at the children. Dr. No is not a bigot, he is simply another one of Tea Party individuals who never have read a book dealing with American history.
The good news concerning Dr. No is that he comes across as having some sense when compared to Mark Williams leader of the Tea Party Express. Williams refers to Obama as “the half white racist president.” and considers Muslims to be worshippers of “the terrorist half monkey god.” FOX News believes Williams is a reputable voice of American politics. The Tea Party is simply the latest manifestation in American history of demagogues who stir up hate and eventually the American people realize that respect for our opponents is a basic tenet of this nation.
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Tea Party ranters wander the nation yelling about higher taxes and demanding we return to the days of yore when some Boston men went on British ships and dumped tea overboard to protest tea rates. Of course, the English government and the East India Tea Company had REDUCED THE PRICE OF TEA, but, what the heck, as far as the ignorant masses who comprise the Tea Party knowing anything about American history is not part of their knowledge base. On one hand, they argue we are in a war against “terrorism,” but on the other hand, they refuse to follow policies such as during World War II when the prevailing sentiment was that taxes SHOULD BE RAISED IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE COST OF THE WAR! A true patriot would feel proud to pay taxes in order to provide for the common defense and to assist fellow citizens. Tax rates during WWII went as high as 70% over a certain level because Americans in those days had the quaint notion that no one should make money in times of national emergency.
We need to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 in order to have sufficient funds to pay for the police and firemen we need, to provide jobs for our young people who could spend times working productively at rebuilding our infrastructure and making this a nation which is at the forefront of business innovation. We either pay now or this nation will fall behind.
True Tea Party patriots will support this plea for higher taxes on the wealthy and more jobs for the unemployed.
I have watched and listened to the ranting and raving of your group concerning the rise in our national debt and the attempt by President Obama to institute some form of national health insurance. I would appreciate if any of you could respond to the following.
1. In 2000, President Bush inherited not only a balanced budget from President Clinton, but one which had a surplus to be used in paying down our then $5 trillion national debt. Bush decided to unbalance the budget and increased our national debt from $5 trillion to $9 trillion. Why weren’t you in the streets yelling and screaming when Bush doubled the national debt?
2. Or, where were you when President Reagan almost doubled the national debt?
3. Does this suggest your group is only concerned about “America’s future” when Democrats are president?
4. You claim to be concerned Americans, but where were you when President Bush lied to the American people by claiming there were WMD that threatened our security? Does your “concern for America” include being concerned that over 4,000 of our wonderful young men and women died due to a lie and over 30,000 were wounded?
5. Why weren’t you in the streets when George Bush refused to increase medical facilities, like more trained personnel for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or do the medical needs of our gallant warriors hold no interest for your fury and anger?
6. Over 45,000,000 of our fellow Americans lack medical insurance and these days almost daily thousands are losing health insurance due to downsizing. Why aren’t you in the streets demanding health insurance for these Americans? They are our fellow Americans!
7. Do you believe it is dignified for members of Congress to rustle papers, fiddle with their cell phones, and shout out when the President of the United States is the guest of Congress? Do you believe George Washington would have agreed with such behavior? Of course, I infer you have some knowledge about the thinking and dignity of George Washington.
I am certain most of you are passionate and that is a good thing. But, in America, we respect our institutions, we respect the Constitution and we respect the fact our candidate lost an election and this nation selected someone else. From the day in March, 1801 when John Adams got in his carriage and rode home to Massachusetts so Virginian Thomas Jefferson could be the new president, we have shown respect when defeated.
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