Thursday, April 16, 2009
I am enjoying my morning tea. It's a traditional medicinals brew meant to increase milk flow. Do you need to know that? Not really. I have just been thinking about tea. Does it work? Maybe, maybe not, but it's not something that can hurt me or the boy, so I'll go ahead and give it a try.
Oh, I did my taxes. In February. I always have them done by mid month or so. That way, they are off my mind, all finished, and any refund I get has already been applied to my savings account or my home equity line of credit.
I was not sipping tea as I watched coverage of the "tea parties" yesterday. The beverage of choice was Guinness. I was chuckling to myself, however, as well as rather appalled at some of the lovely signage people made for themselves.
Americans have a long history of protests. Americans also have a long history of not understanding history. Oh, and a long history of knee-jerk reactions to broad and complicated concepts.
Yesterday was no exception.
Getting people all up in a tizzy over taxes is not new, and it's not difficult. Part of the motivation for what has been called "The Boston Tea Party" was taxation, after all. People think that the government is stealing from them by collecting taxes. People think that President Obama is a socialist. People think that "card check" is a denial of worker rights. People think that the plural of "party" is "party's."
As crazy-making as a lot of these ideas are to me, none of this is new. America has always been like this, it's just that now there are more of us, and we all have to look at it and hear it because it's all on television and the internet. The interesting thing about this particular time in America is all the talk about "revolution," and the hearkening back to the founders. It's funny because the only thing that happened was: they lost.
You lost. Sorry, take your lumps.
Massachusetts and Minnesota did not hint at secession in 2000. Or 2004.
It just so happens that they lost in the middle of terrible economic times, when our global economy is going through a Great Correction. People are rightly upset, and the easiest thing to do is get mad at the government: get mad at the government that has been in office for three months.
It seems like if you are upset at the government, and you are conservative, you are more American, whereas if you are upset at the government, and you are liberal, you are anti-American. Some of these protesters are so American, that they think they should not be part of America anymore.
I don't understand this idea of patriotism.
But the best part of these protests yesterday is this:
"[They] were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, who is now a lobbyist."
All of these people were out on the streets, fired up by wealthy interests. Once again, the brilliance of it all is that the right manages to get middle class and working class Americans protesting their own economic security.