Monday, April 13, 2009

Tea Time

Growing up in a conservative family, the extent of my government protest was limited to a 1 page fax to my representative opposing Clinton's tax increases. And since then it's been limited to letters to the editor and blog posts. I've never picked up a sign or attended any political rallies. Crowds frighten me because the average IQ drops about 30 points when people get together and emotional appeal takes center stage: typical mob mentality that just gets peoples attention without any kind of coherent message. The G-20 protest/riots are a good example.

Republicans and their rallies are no exception to this rule. Their one size fits all platform of social+fiscal conservatism attracts people who like to expand the government in the name of national security while refusing to do anything about the incompetence in everything else the government does, so long as social issues like drugs and gay marriage are sufficiently fought against. That kind of mob mentality has turned off many small efficient government proponents like myself.

So when a bunch of my fellow Americans, regardless of political affiliation, decided to rally together in the name of a single cause, over-taxation, I definitely took notice. So have many in the media.

Today, the reasonable, and totally non-partisan "economist" Paul Krugman had this to say about Tea Parties:
One way to get a good sense of the current state of the G.O.P., and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the “tea parties” that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.
The G.O.P. has as much to do with overtaxation as the Democrats. Krugman conveniently forgets that the poor showing for Republicans the last two elections has a lot to do with their embarrassing abandonment of small government principles under George W. Bush. A lot of Democrats justify their increase of government spending because Republicans were no better under Bush.

Republicans typically act like Democrats when they have power and Libertarians when they're out of power. But acting like our Founding Fathers in protest of an out of control tax and spend, spend, spend regime? Now that's something new. And that's why I plan on attending my local tea party.

Critics of the Tea Parties think that if anyone protests big government or tax increases, then it must just be the work of bitter Republicans in response to the election. But how come they've never taken to the streets before? Why is it not obvious that certain policies of this administration AND the last one are so unpopular and go against everything this country was founded on?

If you believe government is out of control, that they work for us, not the other way around, it's time to send them a message. Please vote on the poll to the left if you plan on attending a tea party. And please let us know about your tea party experiences in the comments section below.

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