A point of order

On 22 March 2010, Congress passed the Stamp Act Health Security Health Care Reform bill, and days later, the President signed it into law. In the days that followed, angry citizens subjects individuals committed acts of violence and hatred against various members of the Tory Democrat party responsible for passing the bill.

Since then, various supporters of the bill and the Democrats have come out condemning the rabble and their representative parties and demanding that they apologize, repudiate, and turn over these offending individuals in the name of good order and civility.

For some reason, this all sounds familiar to me, and it comes across as a liberal establishment growing more elitist and tone deaf by the day. In fact, the liberal response to conservative anger reminds me of the behavior of the members of Parliament and the House of Lords circa the 1760s and 1770s as they passed increasingly oppressive laws against the American colonies.

Let’s not forget that, in the 1760s and 1770s, people living in the American colonies were not subjects of the crown by conquest or absorption but were citizens, and quite a few recently emigrated from Britannia herself. While most of them had not received much in the way of formal academic education, a great majority of them were land and business owners. Perhaps more important, they were almost universally armed.

It was these people, full citizens of the British Empire circa 1770, who banded together to form the militias whose names still resound with greatness more than two centuries after their exploits—Lexington, Concord, Culpeper, Green Mountain—and who formed the heart of the fight against the Crown once the founders declared independence.

I am not saying that violence or derogatory speech are the answers that people who are angry with the current state of affairs should pursue, rather I am pointing out that when you make people with the right kind of resources angry enough, revolutions can and do happen. While liberals may be content to denigrate and dismiss the anger and actions of conservatives, they do so against the people who are often part of the less than half the population that pays more in taxes than it gets back in returns, who own their own houses, land, and businesses without default, and who in great numbers own most of the privately held guns.

So, while liberals might reject the actions and reactions of angry conservatives, they might want to consider what that anger means. History has been a harsh judge of the British politicians of the 1760s and 1770s, and I doubt it will be much kinder to tone deaf politicians of our era.


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