Tea, taxes, and representation

Worldview Thought of the Day

I have believed for a long time that April 15th of each year should be a national day of mourning because it is the day we allow our government to officially rob us to support a system most of us disagree with. Perhaps a more appropriate day for such mourning might be the the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, when most American voters continue to elect the same thieves into office year after year.

This year, on April 15th, Americans around the country will gather at “Tea Parties” in symbolic protest of this theft. While I will always applaud any Americans who use their Constitutional right to dissent, I shake my head at the fact that they are protesting the wrong thing. In my view, these Americans should protest themselves at these Tea Parties because it is their continued apathy and reliance on the political oligarchy that led to this theft to begin with.

When the first Tea Party happened in 1773, the complaint was that the British Parliament had passed taxation against the colonies while the colonies had no representation in Parliament. It was a foundational principle of the Revolutionaries that the people had the right to determine for themselves things like taxation through the representation of duly elected representatives.

In 2009, this lack of due representation is not the problem. With perhaps the exception of Al Franken, every one of the 535 people in Congress were elected by the voters of their various states and districts. That these representatives then proceed to act in ways the people who elected them disagree with is a failure of the people to realize who they elected, not a failure of representation.

So, from my point of view, April 15, 2009 is a day of mourning for American voters who continue to vote for the same old thieves in election after election, only to be surprised when the thieves continue to steal. The Tea Parties can protest the excessive spending and taxation of the current administration all they want, but until the voters protesting realize that they cannot continue to elect thieves and also expect a government that represents them, the protest is in vain.

For those Americans who do realize the solution, there is hope: November 2, 2010 is the next chance for peaceful revolution. Perhaps, if enough voters are informed and dedicated on that day, the complaints of this April 15th can be put into force by voting out the oligarchs of the Democratic and Republican parties and by replacing them with representatives of the people. That act would be in real keeping with the ideals of the first Tea Party.


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