If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see? (The Mad Hatter)
I do recognize that the tea party people want us to think of the Boston Tea Party, where the famous motto was “No taxation without representation!” Surely I’m not the first to recognize that they have more in common with the participants in that much earlier, if fictional, tea party?
Let me begin by saying that as a former student “leftist” sort, and sometime marcher/rallier, it’s a bit hypocritical to complain about the tea partiers because their views are so different from mine. (Actually I’d say their grasp of reality is different from mine, but facts are slippery things.)
The tea partiers are on my mind more than usual because of the fact that Thursday was April 15th, aka “Tax Day”. That morning I arrived at work to find a two-page invitation, printed from someone’s Facebook page, to join that day’s Tax protest–not as a participant exactly, but as an infiltrator. Here’s the plan, it said, more or less: we will carry misspelled signs and hurl epithets, and make them look more stupid than they already are. I was outraged.
Who would put such trash on my desk? It broke every rule Fakename has, starting with not discussing politics (or sex) in the workplace. I calmed down a little when I realized it couldn’t have been printed from any of the computers in my office, since until I or my assistant get there, no one has access to the Internet. After thinking about it all day, I concluded it was something a customer must have handed to the overnight Security officer, who dutifully placed it on my desk. (I WILL find out.) But the reason I think that is…
Since Tallahassee is the capital, we had the obligatory tax protest that day. A little later in the morning, two women about my age stopped in to ask directions to the Old Capital (since it’s across the street, this is how you know they are Not From Around Here). One of my employees must have said something about tea partiers because by the time I tuned in, one of the women was saying, “Aw, we aren’t that bad–we’re just concerned about being overtaxed.” As I was in mid-leap out of my chair, the employee said “I am terribly sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you…let me show you the way to the capital grounds.” Whew.
To the tea partiers, I say: Go for it. Except don’t try to use spurious comparisons to the Boston Tea Party. Without having to give you a whole history lesson, the difference is, you DO have representation. You just don’t like it. Yawn. Been there done that.
Also I’d like to advise you that what you’re doing will not do a damn bit of good. Not that you shouldn’t enjoy yourselves anyway. In the early seventies, we didn’t have much more of a grasp of the facts than you do–in fact, arguably less. But we did have youth and inexperience going for us, whereas you’re old enough to know better.
In closing, I’d like to say that I think infiltrators are the most despicable of all people. I illustrate this with a brief story about a manager I know of who rented a car on his company’s credit card, then quit without notice and left the rental car in an airport parking lot. Needless to say, he was mad at his company. Until they located the car, the company had to pay the rental fees. That showed them, I guess. Except for the part where the ex-manager might have been charged with grand theft.
If you want to prove someone else’s ideas are stupid, try not to be more stupid than they are.