537 Party Like It's 1773
(STATE COLLEGE, PA) -- Wags call this place America's Brain. It's a college town dominated by a so-called major university. It also was the home of one of those tea party protests the other day.
The blind led the blind in front of a post office, where little kids waved signs that said "Give Me Liberty, Not Debt." They waved their placards. They "protested 'big government' and they played on an historical reference that had nothing to do with their stated aims.
The demonstrators were anti "big" government and "pro liberty."
What they really were was anti tax and pro whim.
They stood in front of the post office, with three cop cars parked along the street. They waved signs and they chanted and bellowed. They tried to evoke the Boston Tea Party. The original tea partiers would have puked.
The original tea partiers wanted freedom from taxes imposed by the British who were at the time rulers of the US.
These guys want "smaller government" and an end to all taxation. They are a parody of those Bostonians.
They are part of what's been called a "grass roots" effort to repeal or reduce taxes. The originals were trying to tell the king of England that "if you want to tax us, you have to let us elect the taxers."
The crew here was one of hundreds of alleged "grass rootsers." Are you kidding?
They were prodded and funded by right wing extremists, the kind the Department of Homeland Security warns us about.
Or they are leaderless "cells" much like Al Qaida or the Communist Party.
Did the original Bostonians want "smaller government?" No. They wanted to not pay a tea tax.
Today's guys haven't read their history.
But there they were, picketing at the post office, as were their fellow robots across the country.
Interesting aside: this 'burg is home to a huge, sprawling and famous university. Couldn't spot any college kids at this protest. Maybe they don't know where the post office is. Plenty of older folks. A scattering of elementary school kids. It looked like a Grandparents' Day picnic, only no food and no ants, and police officers watching, "just in case."
They want an end to taxation? They want an end to "pork barrel" spending, as long as it doesn't include the biggest pork project of all time, the Iraq war? And the various projects that bring in federal bucks to their community?
Your correspondent has engaged in plenty of protests and supports the right to do that.
It's how we got rid of poll taxes and segregated water fountains and back-of-the-bus "Negroes."
But there's a difference. The back of the busers were oppressed because of race. The Tea Partiers are not.
The grandmother of the conservative revolution, Ayn Rand, would be appalled. "Hippies of the right" wing, she called them.
Now relax. Have a cup of tea. You'll feel better.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®