Tea Partiers, embrace your extremism!

by David Safier
A funny thing happened in the lead up to Friday's demonstrations in front of Giffords' office. The Pima Democratic Party labeled the Tea Party movement "extremist," and the Tea Partiers freaked.

The Pima Dems received more than a dozen emails and I don't know how many phone calls which basically said, "How dare you call us extremists!"

I thought that's how the Tea Party movement referred itself at its inception. At their early rallies, speakers got cheers calling themselves and their followers extremists.  They got more cheers when they called for revolution and secession. And when they said Obama isn't our legitimate President, they brought down the house.

The movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party. That was a group of extremists who destroyed private property as a form of protest. Their actions were among the early rumblings of the American Revolution, a violent rebellion whose purpose was to overthrow of an oppressive government.

Do you think the original Boston Tea Partiers would have bristled at being called extremists?

The parallel between the two movements is false and dangerous. To say today's U.S. government is the equivalent of English rule of the colonies and this six month old Tea Party movement is made up of Paines, Franklins, Jeffersons, Washingtons and their followers, indicates the Tea Party movement has delusions of grandeur — with an emphasis on "delusions." And to imply that the only way to get rid of the Democratic administration is through violent aggression is unpatriotic and small-d undemocratic at best, and treasonous at worst.

Nonetheless, the Tea Baggers chose their name and have embraced it. They  should wear it proudly, along with its extremist associations. This attempt to remake themselves as a thoughtful, moderate group is hypocritical.

Why deny who you are? Your demonstrations should include signs saying, "Extremist and Proud of It!" When the Pima Dems label you an "extremist organization," you should reply, "Thank you."

0 responses to “Tea Partiers, embrace your extremism!

  1. England today removed the BAN on talk show host Michael Savage saying it was wrong and this blog targets American Citizens expressing their views in front of a Congressional Office?

    Its time for truth and common sense and less slandering;personal threats;and intimidation spouted on this blog!

  2. David you are a Teacher and taught your Students that the Boston Tea Party was about Radical Extremists and NOT the American Colonies telling KING GEORGE that they would no longer pay the High Taxes on tea to England?

    It resulted in the Colonies breaking away from England; I guess you want us back under English Control?

    David you are a man who is dangerous to all that listen to your rubbish and I will talk to The Owner of the Explorer that free speech should at least have “some” truth in it!

    Giffords is a JOKE and needs to be sent back to the Tire Warehouse collecting her 5 million in Rio Nuevo pay outs!

    Illegal Aliens have the right to take down American Flags and hoist Mexican Flags and protest in the streets but Legal American Citizens have now rights to express a viewpoint?

    You are a very Dangerous Man!!!

  3. Politically and philosophically any passionate political person could care less about being called extremist. The problem comes in the pragmatic present where media and government law enforcement uses terms like “religious extremist”, “militia extremist” and “anti-government extremist” in their press releases that usually also include the stock phrases “police felt afraid of incipient attack” and “the suspects were then shot dead by a squad of city police”.

    Many Tea Party participants are only too well aware of how government (inside and outside the US) uses terms like extremist to justify assaulting and killing people who state that they refuse to be oppressed.

  4. David you might be interested in the only first-person account of the Boston Tea Party (participants swore secrecy and anonymity for 50 years; I bet they would have made that Ben Kalaflut guy furious). It is available online:
    http://www.archive.org/details/retrospectofbost00hawk
    I became aware of it from a Thom Hartmann article.
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/2009/04/15/the-real-boston-tea-party-was-against-the-wal-mart-of-the-1770s/
    Hartmann bought a copy of this book and his take is that the tea-party was the response to the monopolistic actions of the East India Company (that basically used its “lobbying” powers with the British crown to protect its market position). The Americans were angry the market was slanted to the powerful and connected. He argues that the modern day equivalent would be fighting to stop a Wal-Mart from getting corporate welfare (tax breaks) and using that advantage to run the mom and pops out of business.
    I haven’t read the book, and I had forgotten about putting it on my reading list until this morning.
    In any case, I think many of the modern tea-baggers (esp. the leaders and bag-men like Dick Armey) have far more sentiment in line with the corporatists seeking welfare and slanted markets like Wal-Mart than they do with any mom and pop.