It was more than a bit surreal after two weeks on isolated Thai islands to turn on Fox News just in time to watch “Tea Party” members signing an oath to defend the Constitution while extolling their right to protest. I strongly concur with the right to protest anything, but am left wondering where these people were twenty years ago when many of us were being monitored by the FBI, while being branded “unpatriotic” for protesting Gulf War I. And by these very same people, most of whom at that time wanted us swept off the streets and silenced in whatever manner necessary and did not give a damn about the right to protest, all the while waving yellow ribbons paid for by the emir of Kuwait.
As to these right-wing Fox News robotons wrapping themselves in the Constitution, not to mention usurping such a historically important event for their name, there are just a few things one may want to consider. The first is that the dismantling of our Bill of Rights began under Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, who destroyed the 4th Amendment, while seriously weakening the 1st and 5th Amendments. Remember when a cop needed a warrant to search your car?
The Constitutional shredding continued under Bush I and peaked during his son’s reign, when the Patriot Act finished off the 5th Amendment. Then came Patriot Act II and a plethora of other Big Brother schemes that would have made Attila the Hun proud. All passed with unanimous Republican support. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court was stacked with Republican nominees in favor of Constitutional demise. And all the while, these “Tea Party” right-wingers cheered the surveillance state and the dismantling of the Constitution which they now claim as their very own. Isn’t that special?
Even more rich is their usurping of the name “Tea Party”. The Boston Tea Party was not some right-wing cracker fiesta against “Big Government”. It was a rallying cry FOR government. The British monarchy, which we would later defeat on the battlefield, was dumping tea into America tariff-free, then demanding that all exported American-made goods pass through Britain, where they would be tariffed and re-exported.
What the small businessmen of Boston were demanding was PROTECTIONISM in the form of government taxation of British tea and the right to export their goods directly to other nations. They were demanding a regulatory regime that would come to replace the mercantilism of the British East India Company, which also imported slaves to the US and moved opium from India to China without tariff. The Boston Tea Party was a rallying cry AGAINST so-called free trade, in favor of raising taxes on corporations and for the benefit of the common people.
The very founding of America was based on these same principles. Free speech was to be for everyone, not just the British landed gentry. This is why we fought the bastards. Now the Fox News corporatist right wants to give “extra” free speech to the rich. And the right-wing Supreme Court recently concurred, wrapping it all in an extremely activist interpretation of the Constitution. It’s as if the Revolutionary War never occured. It’s as if many Americans forget who we fought. And why we fought. And the nature of a revolutionary war fought for the common people versus a counter-revolutionary war fought for the rich. They don’t call American’s founding the Counter-Revolutionary War for a reason.
Unlike these “Tea Party” Goldman Sachs lackies, none of our founders were bought. Unlike these hypocrites, our founders believed in equal opportunity, rather than the British Masonic credo of promotion based on “who you know”. America was to be a meritocracy, not a blood-line aristocracy. That’s why we fought the bastards.
This “Tea Party” gaggle is nothing more than the latest attempt by the rich and powerful to prevent progress in America. Whether they know it or not. What we need in this country is a genuine revolutionary movement that fights for the people AGAINST the aristocracy.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve & Stickin’ it to the Matrix. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com