Nine days before Christmas in 1773, nearly 7,000 noisy people gathered on the waterfront of Boston Harbor to protest the duty imposed on the importation of tea by the British Parliament.
To get their point across, those angry folks boarded three British ships and dumped their cargos of tea into the water.
The Boston Tea Party led to the organization of the Continental Congress; the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation and finally, just fourteen years after the Boston Harbor was turned into a giant tea pot, the Constitution of the United States was adopted and the greatest nation of the face of the earth was born.
2009 will be remembered as the year of the second tea party. In the face of a deep recession, bank failures, mortgage foreclosures, and multi-billion dollar government bailouts of financial institutions and automobile companies, a noisy wave of political discontent has washed across the United States of America.
Several people claim to have launched the tea parties. Critics have labeled them “Astroturf” movements to denigrate their grass roots formation.
Perhaps the most celebrated prophet of tea is Rick Santelli, a CNBC financial commentator who delivered a much seen and quoted rant on February 19, 2009.
With hand waving emphasis indicative of his Italian heritage, Santelli excoriated the government for “promoting bad behavior” specifically, as he said, requiring taxpayers to underwrite the failure of some homeowners to make their mortgage payments.
Insisting that market cycles are self correcting, and that government is incapable of managing the economy, Santelli concluded by observing that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson “would roll over in their graves.”
Now the Tea Parties have coalesced into a national convention which heard an address by the ‘rogue’ Republican, Sarah Palin.
Nobody knows who the tea partiers are or what they want.
I have been invited to speak to a local Tea Party in Pasco County, Florida on March 16. They want to know more about the U. S. Constitution.
That’s my cup of tea. Twenty-eight years ago, I wrote a law review article entitled, "Return to Philadelphia."
If you're interested, go to www.foavc.org, click on "Articles" and scroll down to mine.