Today all across the country Tax Day Tea Parties are being organized in protest of recent government spending, or what the Tea Party protesters call pork. The event was named in reference to the historic Boston Tea Party – an event where American colonists stood up to unfair British taxes by throwing British tea into the Boston harbor. The reason being that the colonists were being taxed without congressional representatives, also known as taxation without representation. However, these protesters aren’t lacking in representation, they just don’t like the representation they currently have. The protest seems more to be just a protest of taxation in general.
The Tea Parties have billed themselves as having been built from the conservative grassroots, but not everyone agrees with this claim. Paul Krugman of the New York Times rather sees the events as what he calls astroturf, or fake grassroots. He sees the movement being led, not by everyday Americans, but by Talk Show Hosts, and Fox News Commentators, like Glen Beck and Sean Hannity. A point worth taking into consideration as both Fox News hosts will be present at the events, not as reporters, but as participants – putting in question the biases of these “Fair and Balanced” reporters.
It’s also worth noting that the movement first really got going when CNBC commentator Rick Santelli gave a live-rant on the stock room floor. The now infamous “call to arms” was about recent government bailouts and he referred to those being bailed out as “losers” and that the proper response was a Boston Tea Party style protest.
For those wanting to get a more grassroots feel for today’s events, you can check in with either the Tea Party Facebook party (which currently has 1,800 members) or follow the event on Twitter (with the #teaparty hash tag).
(Photo courtesy of the Washington Post)