OTHER VOICES, Jim Driver
In The Union’s “Other Voices,” on Nov. 23, Jim Firth wrote an article titled “In the footsteps of history …”
Referring to a trip he made to Boston, Mr. Firth writes in a breezy “down-to-earth” style; and then, he quotes from his bus driver/guide’s story about Paul Revere, claiming he “knew his history.”
Mr. Firth should have verified the bus driver/guide’s information!
Actually, it was Paul Revere who fell from his horse as he was being captured by some British soldiers, after he had warned Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were trying to capture them. Also, William Dawes didn’t fall from his horse “after running into a tree.” He was bucked off, and then he went ahead on foot to warn the Minutemen in Lexington. Check it out on Wikipedia.
Jim Firth then sets the stage to criticize today’s Tea Party, whose members he implies are zealots who believe that they are the only “real Americans,” by telling a story about the Boston Tea Party. His version implies that the men who took part were “rowdy hooligans” who “after spending several hours in a nearby tavern” spontaneously decided to board the ships and dump the tea overboard “disguised as Mohawk Indians.”
The actual history of the Boston Tea Party and the events leading up to it is fascinating. This event was planned well in advance of the ships arriving in Boston and was witnessed by thousands.
Jim cites many “implied facts” to support his position.
However, there is a problem with his “implied facts.” They are either totally false or a deception that implies a truth.
Just like in his version of historical stories, Jim distorts the facts about today’s Tea Party. He would like you to believe that the Tea Party people: “… support government subsidies to big American oil companies, support subsidies to big agri-businesses and support huge profits (and huge administrative costs) of big health insurance companies, support the military-industrial complex …”
There is a huge problem with his portrayal of the Tea Party, a true grassroots movement. The three core principles that define the Tea Party are: fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited constitutional government. This means that the very things that Jim Firth accuses the Tea Party of supporting are the very things the Tea Party actively opposes!
Firth continues to misrepresent what Tea Party people believe when he writes: “They don’t want to pay taxes that will fund environmental safety, public education, food for the needy, consumer protection, preventative health care, infrastructure improvements, transportation upgrades, food safety — and the list goes on and on.”
He continues: They “want less expensive goods and services but don’t want to expand immigration.” And that they “want police and fire protection” but then implies that they want “lengthy jail terms for nonviolent criminals” and that they “don’t want to compensate public employees with a living wage.”
Where are the facts to back up his statements? It is obvious that either he has never attended a Tea Party function or that he deliberately intends to misrepresent what the Tea Party stands for because none of the issues he cites has anything to do with the three core principles of the Tea Party.
Jim writes that: “The curious disconnect between the colonists of the 1700s and the want-to-be patriots today is that today our democracy does represent their minority view.”
Then he negates his original statement by writing that: “However, as a minority in a democracy, they are required to accept the judgment and rule of law of the majority.”
What convoluted thinking!
Thank God our government is not just a democracy! When 51 percent of the people can tell 49 percent what they can or cannot do, that’s tyranny!
Our form of government is a representative democracy with checks and balances to safeguard the rights of the minority.
When some particular law needs to be authorized, both houses must agree on the language of the law. Then, that law is reviewed by the president, and if he agrees with the law, he can sign it into existence. But the people affected by the law can still challenge it in court to verify its constitutionality.
Even then, when a law becomes too burdensome, that law can be repealed by the people, as was done with prohibition.
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were written to prevent the government from imposing the “rule of law of the majority.”
Mr. Firth should check his “facts!”
Jim Driver lives in Rough and Ready.