You all know that I aggressively pursue evenhandedness in the promotion of social and political happenings.
Thus, I’m thrilled to note that the national “Tea Party” movement, spawned by the noted populist derivatives trader-turned-CNBC heartthrob Rick Santelli, is coming to Lakeland on April 15, as part of a national day of tea parties scheduled to coincide with tax day. The Lakeland event is set for noon to 2 p.m. at Kryger Overlook Park on Massachusetts (nice historical synergy there). As the name suggests, the park overlooks Lake Mirror. The Lakeland event even has a Facebook page. At least 21 people have confirmed that they will attend. Eleven maybes.
The original Boston Tea Party, led (or at least taken credit for by) by the great patriot and beermaker Sam Adams, involved the storming of a merchant ship and destruction of valuable property by men disguised as native Americans in defiance of an all-powerful monarch who could have them shot or imprisoned on the spot. All in the service of principle. For more background on the original tea party and prelude to revolution, check out this piece from “Schoolhouse Rock,” the most powerful civics teaching tool in history of mankind. Bottom line: No taxation without representation. It’s. Not. Fair.
Some 235 or so years later, one can only imagine the courage it must take to assemble in a park built partially by tax money to protest the spending of a different pot of tax money approved through the negotiation and votes of two democratically elected federal legislative bodies and signed by a democratically elected president, in fullfillment of endlessly debated campaign promises.
Clearly, it didn’t pose anywhere near the moral challenge to protest a president who claimed the authority to name anyone an enemy combatant on his own discretion, torture prisoners, and generally set aside the fourth amendment of the constitution if it conflicted with prosecution of an unendable, undeclared war. That’s why organizers have waited until now to seize their moment.
Not sure what they actually plan to do at the park, but here’s a bit of a manifesto from the Facebook page:
What is this Tea Party effort all about?
The Tea Party effort is a grassroots, collaborative, volunteer, bipartisan organization made up of every day Patriotic American Citizens from across the country. We take pride and have a burning desire to restore our freedom. “We the people” are being ignored by our government and we intend on working together to correct the problem.
We must stand together, shoulder to shoulder, against our out of control government! It is time for us to protect God, our Country, and the Constitution upon which this great land was founded!
Anyway, I hope there’s a big turnout. At least three downtown shops/restaurants sell tea in something like bulk. I’m sure in these economic times Black and Brew, Mitchell’s, and My Cottage Garden would be happy to sell some tea, even if protestors planned to steep Lake Mirror with it. Economic stimulus that might even help the water quality. That’s a tea party we can believe in.