I was sitting in a restaurant yesterday when the group behind me began discussing the Tea Party. No, not the new one, the old one. You know, the one where John Adams and a bunch of fellows got tired of taxation without representation and dressed up like Indians and they all went down to the docks and threw that British tea overboard in a massive act of civil disobedience. Showed them not to mess with America!
At least that is what I heard them telling their children. Granted that isn’t exactly what happened, but I was in no mood to get in a fight by being historically correct. For you see, regardless of how history actually happened, their oral history is the one that counts. Knowing that, I cringed at what is passing for historical fact as of late. But then again, given the current move to sacrifice education for government sustainability perhaps never having learned it correctly in the first place might not be as bad as I think.
“The Robber Barons built this country by taking chances Jimmy! Men like the Pullmans, Vandergrift’s, JP Morgan’s and Rockefellers made America the country it is today, just like those brave men who worked on Wall Street years ago. They fought hard to save their banks, and to get the public to understand the beauty and safety of investing in derivatives. They fought them liberals who tried to take away their right to make money, and they won!” Fiction, fact or history?
When asked what we could do to Wall Street and those who quietly presided and profited over the financial collapse we are still in the midst of, President Obama responded solemnly. “ Very little.” Oh, for sure we will round up the usual suspects and throw some companies and people under the bus of justice so that we have examples to show that we did something come election time, but in reality, most will get off scott free.
Thus, when we see people marching in the streets, as they have been on Wall Street as of late, many throw their hands up and say, “What can I do”? You might want to ask yourself why you are not joining them. Curiously, just saying to a friend the protesters are doing the right thing is a major act of civil disobedience for some of us!
It is going to take a lot to fix a system that we are told daily is not broken. Just needs “tweaked” so to speak. Unfortunately, as long as our twenty-four hour news bubbleheads work for the very people and corporations that stand to loose the most if the people really come to grasp our current economic crisis is not going to come anytime soon!
By the way, that first Tea Party lasted all night. There were over three hundred participants, mostly merchants and dockworkers. They threw tons of tea overboard; under the full observing eyes of the police at the time, who let it all happen. Taxation was less of an issue as market share. Apparently the biggest corporation in the world at the time was cutting in on the Americans right to develop their own tea markets. John Adams was nowhere to be seen. He need not have worried, in the eyes of many Americans he was right there, historically speaking of course.