The Tea Party’s Intolerable Acts Are a Parting Shot from George III

The Tea Party's Inspiration: King George III. Portrait by Allan Ramsay (1713-1784)
The Tea Party’s Inspiration: King George III. Portrait by Allan Ramsay (1713-1784)

The Republicans are wedded to their theories of government (aka liberal) tyranny but all the evidence, and I do mean the entirety of the available evidence, demonstrates that tyranny is imposed not by the political left but by the political right.

We have actual and ongoing examples in both Wisconsin and Michigan of what Republican governance looks like, and it’s not pretty. It is the suppression of the will of the people, in complete violation of everything the United States stands for: that political power derives from the will of the people.

According to Tea Party political philosophy, political power derives from corporations, plutocrats, and religious fanatics. These oligarchs have a message for you: “Fuck you.” And ironically, given Tea Party pretensions, that is precisely the attitude of King George III in 1774.

In fact, despite all the talk about Obama acting like George III, it is the Tea Party that has embraced the imperial British heritage. The Colonists in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the Revolution were literally up in arms over the Massachusetts Government Act of May 20, 1774.

Kevin Philips in his 1775: A Good Year for Revolution (2012) describes the effect of this measure:

The Massachusetts Charter of 1691 was eviscerated. Key provisions of the new statute all but eliminated town meetings, ended locally chosen juries, gave the governor sole power to appoint and remove judges, and transferred the selection of the Governor’s Council, the upper legislative house, from elected representatives to Crown appointees.

Is the first thing that comes to your mind the Tea Party rape of Michigan democracy? PoliticusUSA has extensively covered the imposition of Tea Party tyranny in Michigan, which just as did the Massachusetts Government Act, ignore the will of the people.

Even when the outrageous use of “emergency managers,” analogous to the Crown’s appointment of judges and legislators, were overwhelmingly revoked by the people, the governor ignored the vote – simply pretended it hadn’t happened. Governor Rick Snyder and the Tea Party have no more interest in what the people want than did George III and his ministers.

The colonists, for reasons you can readily understand, called this act and others like it the Intolerable Acts. And they were intolerable. The suspension of local democracy is a serious matter because Democracy is not imposed from the top down but created from the bottom up. The Republicans know this, which is why they are so intent on destroying it at the local level through imposition of the very [heavy-handed] government they claim to hate.

These acts are just as intolerable today. And they are no more an expression of the popular will in 2012 than they were in 1774, but rather the act of a tyrannical and authoritarian mindset intent on imposing the will of a powerful minority on the majority.

For the British, the Intolerable Acts were the Coercive Acts, a no more inspiring if somewhat more precise name for the legislation. The Coercive Acts (the others were the Quartering Act, the Boston Port Bill, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quebec Act) were meant to do just that: coerce the colonists into obedience.

Tea Party laws in Wisconsin and Michigan (and elsewhere; these two states are merely the most complete examples) trace their lineage directly back to the Prime Minister, Lord North, who said that the Massachusetts Government Act was intended “to take the executive power from the hands of the democratic part of government.” In other words, as Black Liberal Boomer put it, “Strangle Blue States [or colonies] in the Crib.”

As a result, the Tea Party adoption of patriot flags and garb is not only hypocritical; it is nothing short of obscene. Christopher Gladsen could never have imagined his “Don’t Tread on Me” flag would be used not as an expression of liberty, but of tyranny.

Yet again and again Republicans like Rand Paul, insist that it is the democrats who are behaving in a tyrannical fashion. It does not matter that most of what they say is composed of lies, often old lies that have been retold countless times and proven false on each and every occasion. And they have proven that, if thwarted, there is no limit to what they will stoop to in revenge.

World Net Daily is, no surprise, a hotbed of such stupidity. But they are hardly alone. Fox News reaches a far wider market and is only a little less absurdist in its claims, and there is also Breitbart.com and The Blaze, Drudge Report, and others. All of them would have you believe that conservatives champion liberty while liberals want to impose tyranny.

The fact is that conservatism is not about liberty, but about maintenance of the status quo, which is often diametrically opposed to the concept of liberty (the continuation of slavery and the disenfranchisement of women being two notable examples). Liberalism, on the other hand, is about liberty, about the granting, not the suppression of rights. Liberty demands that people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and economic statuses have the same rights, which is, after all, what the Constitution grants them.

Every law restricting this right to equality comes from the Republican Party, whether it is limiting your right to employment, equal pay, free exercise of speech or religion, or even voting.

That is when the Republicans have charge of any government local, state, or Federal. Where they lack complete authority, as in the President and Senate, they foment rebellion, and quite openly. Just as the colonies were in revolt well before the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (as King George III recognized in October, 1774 when he forbade the export of war supplies to the Colonies), the Republican Party is already in revolt against the parts of the Federal government it does not control. The current scramble to obtain firearms can be likened to the colonist’s mad scramble to obtain both firearms and powder in 1774 and 1775. Americans waiting for the ball to drop do not realize that it has already fallen.

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine in The American Crisis during the winter of 1776. If the American Revolution, as opposed to the American War for Independence has never ended, as some have argued, those words are doubly applicable today, as we face the long-awaiting counter-revolution of conservatism.

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