Originally written on April 19, 2010

There has been so much discussion, derision and general hoopla concerning the so-called “tea party movement” as of late, I thought I might share some of my insights into this quasi cultural phenomenon.

Now, when I think of a tea party, the first thing that comes to mind is a few six year old girls sitting around pretending to pour and sip tea, usually with some stuffed animals enjoying the party as well. I suppose when I get into a historical type of mindset, the Boston Tea Party comes to mind; this is the allegorical reference inferred by the modern tea party movement. For a refresher on eighteenth century American history: this was a symbolic act of protest to the unfair taxes levied against the colonists who had no representation or self-determination despite paying these taxes.

This is where I am a little fuzzy on the logic of individuals who claim they are protesting the power of the government for unfair taxation and spending. Currently, we Americans pay taxes at the local, state and federal level and are politically represented at those levels of government. So why would a “movement” model itself on an event that highlighted a lack of representation, despite the taxation, when we currently do have representation for the taxes we pay? Let me take a wild guess: the out-roar is due to a democratic administration that has been labeled “socialist” by the right-wing media–FOX News in particular– which dictates the perceptions and realities of those in the tea party movement.

I’m not going to defend the Obama administration, for indeed it is yet another regime that answers only to the wealthy, the powerful and the connected–just as prior administrations, republican and democrat–rather than the people who actually voted them into office. I understand having contempt of a government that does not represent the will of the people, but I believe the context of this contempt as it relates to the tea party movement is out of touch with historical and current political reality and is manipulated and dictated by massive media organizations whose only interest is generating controversy for the sake of profit.

It is my hope that the individuals involved with the tea party movement will realize that no matter the political party and the taxes levied for social programs that they do not agree with, our system of government exists, in large part, to accommodate and propagate the hegemony of the wealthy and the powerful. If you want to protest and raise awareness to your cause by using the Boston Tea Party as motivation, make everyone aware that while we do have taxation with representation, it is the representation that needs to change: to actually represent the people and not the wealthy ruling class. Otherwise, please leave tea parties to little girls dressing up and pretending to be “grown-up” like us.