Alexander's Column

The Second 'Tea Party' Revolt

A Genuine Conservative Grassroots Movement

By Mark Alexander · Jun. 24, 2010

What it is – and isn’t.

“The people of the U.S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprised in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings.” –James Madison
Left v Right

Any discussion of American Liberty must begin with the origins of the American Revolution and the Liberty it enshrined for generations since, under our Constitution’s Rule of Law.

As James Madison aptly noted, it all began with an act of civil disobedience in rejection of a small tax on tea – a Tea Party.

Resistance to the Crown had been mounting over enforcement of the 1764 Sugar Act, 1765 Stamp Act and 1767 Townshend Act, which led to the Boston Massacre and gave rise to the slogan, “No taxation without representation.” But it was the 1773 Tea Act which galvanized the Colonial movement opposing British parliamentary acts violating the natural, charter and constitutional rights of the colonists.

On December 16th, 1773, “radicals” from Boston, members of a secret organization of American Patriots called the Sons of Liberty, boarded three East India Company ships and threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. This iconic event, in protest of oppressive British taxation and tyrannical rule, became known as the Boston Tea Party.

In response to the rebellion, the British enacted additional punitive measures, labeled the “Intolerable Acts,” in hopes of suppressing the burgeoning insurrection. Far from accomplishing their desired outcome, however, the Crown’s countermeasures led colonists to convene the First Continental Congress on September 5th, 1774, in Philadelphia – the first step toward formalizing a declaration of liberty.

Today, once again, we find ourselves subject to unjust taxation. And while we enjoy a token and technical representation in Congress, we are continually being taxed for purposes not expressly authorized by our Constitution. That tax burden is levied to satiate contemporaneous political constituencies, but at an ever-increasing cost under which free enterprise will, ultimately, collapse.

As a result of this abject violation of constitutional Rule of Law and the Essential Liberty it enshrines, greatly amplified by the current Leftist administration of Barack Hussein Obama, American Patriots have, once again, mustered a Tea Party movement, which is growing in strength. This movement is not about revolution but restoration of Essential Liberty.

So, just what is the Tea Party?

Let me first answer that question by describing who it is.

We are American Patriots, defenders of First Principles .

We are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and public servants standing in harm’s way at home and around the world, who are loyal, first and foremost, to our revered oath to “to Support and Defend” the Liberty enshrined in our authentic Constitution, not the so-called “living constitution” espoused by cadres of “useful idiots” on the Left.

We are grassroots leaders and local, state and national officeholders who, likewise, honor our sacred oath.

We are mothers, fathers and other family members nurturing the next generation of young Patriots. We are farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen and industrial producers. We are small business owners, service providers and professionals in medicine and law. We are employees and employers. We are in ministry at home and missionaries abroad. We are students and professors at colleges and universities, often standing alone for what is good and right.

We are consumers and taxpayers. We are voters.

We are Patriot sons and daughters from all walks of life, heirs to the blessings of Liberty bequeathed to us at great personal cost by our Patriot forebears, confirmed in the opinion that it is our duty to God and Country to extend that blessing to our posterity, and avowed upon our sacred honor to that end. We are vigilant, strong, prepared and faithful.

We are not defined by race, creed, ethnicity, religion, wealth, education, geography or political affiliation, but by our devotion to our Creator, and the Liberty He has entrusted to us, one and all.

Second, in answer to the question, the Tea Party is not an organized political party, per se, rather it is a genuine grassroots movement motivated by the clear goal of restoring Liberty, and supporting candidates who embrace that vision for the future of our Republic.

Our principles include, first and foremost, advocating for Essential Liberty, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. These principles sound familiar to our Patriot readers because this is, and has been, the mission statement of The Patriot Post since our inception.

These core principles have been expanded in a more formal statement, the “Contract from America”, which closely parallels the original Tea Party manifesto, The Patriot Declaration, which I encourage you to both read and sign.

Patriot Declaration

The Patriot Declaration is based on the rights enumerated in our First Statement of Conservative Principles, our Declaration of Independence and its subordinate guidance, our Constitution.

Today, those who support the Tea Party principles understand, as did our Founders, that the power to tax is the most invasive threat to Liberty and its economic expression, free enterprise.

As Chief Justice John Marshall concluded in 1819 (McCullough v. Maryland), “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.”

Alexander Hamilton detailed the economic consequences of excessive taxation, noting in Federalist No. 21, “If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

Because of the menacing threat of excessive taxation, Jefferson suggested that taxes “should be continued by annual or biennial reenactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free,” and ultimately, that “excessive taxation … will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.”

Indeed, if American Patriots, who inherently subscribe to Tea Party principles, can adequately rally enough of our fellow citizens to our enlightened cause to restore Rule of Law, then it will be possible to reset our nation’s course and re-establish our Constitution’s integrity. However, it will take more than one election cycle to undo decades of Democrat socialism and more recently, Republican malfeasance.

But if Liberty, as affirmed at our nation’s birth, is to survive another generation, we must reinstate Rule of Law. It will take tireless devotion and forbearance to do so peacefully, but it is my fervent prayer that restoration can succeed without firing a shot. Still, the history of throwing off tyrannical governments, as with the founding of our great nation, is not on the side of peaceful rebellion.

Thomas Jefferson once declared, “Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.”

Indeed, but too many Americans have become complacent in comfort, unable or unwilling to comprehend that the consequences of foregoing Liberty for refuge are dire. As Franklin wrote, “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Barack Obama has disparaged Tea Party Patriots, mocking them as a gang of malcontents “waving their little teabags,” and belittling them as to ignorant for “a serious conversation.” His Senior White House Adviser, David Axelrod, adds, “Any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that’s unhealthy.”

Such undignified characterizations notwithstanding, Obama and his Leftist cadres are clearly concerned that an enlightened grassroots movement to restore Rule of Law will undermine their Socialist agenda in the upcoming midterm election.

The seeds of a new American Revolution are sprouting, but, in the words of John Adams, “What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

And so it is, today.

Finally, the greatest strength of the grassroots Tea Party movement is its lack of any central organization – it is a genuine grassroots movement. Despite the best efforts of GOP establishment types, Libertarians and other special interest groups endeavoring to co-opt the Tea Party for their own political agendas, these Patriots have shown remarkable devotion to their guiding principles, rejecting any and all suitors attempting to commandeer the movement.

Indeed, we derive great strength in forming a unified grassroots front uniformly devoted to Liberty. However, inevitably, self-appointed Tea Party leaders will arise, as will organizations claiming ownership of the movement, and that will undermine the power and constrain the future potential of its grassroots momentum. If the movement fails to unite behind the tactics and strategy required for restoration of Essential Liberty and constitutional integrity, and is hijacked by politicians, it risks self destruction.

We must refuse to waste our precious political capital on ideological purity and fratricidal infighting, and must instead, frame every debate around First Principles and Rule of Law, defining what we support, not who we are oppose.

As Benjamin Franklin said famously when signing the Declaration of Independence, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”

My fellow Patriots, stand fast for Essential Liberty, stay the course, hold your ground and keep your powder dry. Real “change” is on the horizon.

There is an excellent tool, a Tea Party “bible” of sorts, available as the foundational resource for our movement. It is the pocket-sized field guide “Essential Liberty Guide”, a resource which no Patriot should be without.

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76 Comments

Kenshin said:

Unless the Tea Party movement also includes faith-based, Constitutional, and life issues, it's doomed to failure. Without these crucial elements, it's simply another 'I-don't-want-to-pay-taxes' crank group.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 12:18 PM

LaDonna Wilson said:

Thank you for your journal. I teach American History and find it an invaluable tool. Are you familiar with the GOOOH.com movement? Any thoughts?Sincerely,LaDonna Wilson

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Abel said:

"We are not defined by race, creed, ethnicity, religion, wealth, education or political affiliation, but by our devotion to our Creator, and the liberty He has entrusted to us, one and all."I pick this sentence out for 2 reasons: the first is because I am a Tea Party member but don't believe in any god. The second is because this sentence is self-contradictory. Either way, I'm not so sensitive as to be bothered by the paragraph.Oo-Rah!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 12:47 PM

The Editor replied:

First, if you do not acknowledge any creator, thus natural law, then who determines your rights? Second, as for "contradictory," there is a difference in acknowledging a creator and being defined by religious affiliation...

Sandy Grace said:

I agree back then being taxed by another country required a solution. However living in a country and supporting the same country is a different matter. How many of us collect social security, medicare, drive on public roads/bridges, use libraries, fire departments, police departments .... Who pays for these if not the people??? There is a need for taxes now the question is what the people want to support. A humane society for all or pay for what you are able and to ?@&* with everyone else. Lots of room for debate.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Marion Rettinger said:

All I can say to that is AMEN!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Alan said:

Yes we do honor our creator, But if we do not turn back to the GOD of the BIBLE we will forever fail.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Bill Wade said:

The best thing the tea party movement could do is throw its weight behind a grassroots effort to get two constitutional amendments onto the state ballots:1) Term limits for members of Congress - no member to serve a total of more than 12 years total across both houses. That means 6 terms in the House, or 2 terms in the Senate, or 3 terms in the House followed by 1 term in the Senate.2) A balanced budget amendment with an exception only in the case of a declared war, or in the case of some other national emergency as confirmed by a two-thirds majority in both houses, said emergency to be reconfirmed each budget yearI wouldn't be opposed to an amendment capping government spending at a fixed percentage of GDP either, again with exceptions for declared wars or other national emergencies...

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:18 PM

RUTH ENGQUIST said:

MOST OF US HAVE PAID TAXES FOREVER "FICA" WAS ALWAYS TAKING MONEY FROM MY CHECK MY HUSBANDS ETC. WE DIDN"T MIND PAYING OUR SHARE BUT WE DO RESENT THE GOVERNMENT NOW WANTING TO GIVE WHAT WE PAID FOR TO ILLEGAL ALIENS AND LAZY SOB'S WHO DO NOTHING BUT SIT IN THEIR ARM CHAIRS WATCHING TV THAT WE MOST LIKELY PAID FOR.THE CONGRESSMEN GET PAID A HUGE SALARY WONDERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS FOR THEIR FAMILIES ETC. WHERE DO THEY GET THIS MONEY FROM ??? I'M ALL FOR LIMITED TERMS THE SAME HEALTHCARE THEY TACK ON US THEN MAYBE THAT WILL LEAVE HARD WORKING AMERICANS ENOUGH OF THEIR PAY CHECK TO LIVE ON.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

veritaseequitas in Fightertown, USA said:

I do not believe that any rational American objects to paying reasonable taxes to fund our country's defense and our essential services. The problem lies in the fact that our government has gotten much too big, wasteful and out of control. They do not adhere to the constitution when they take our money and create social programs and spending that should be left to the states or churches or non-profits who are much better able to direct spending where it is needed most.Many past administrations, beginning with FDR's, are guilty of growing government and wasting our country's resources, but the BO administration is by far the absolute worst. They need to desist and rollback so that our country can get back on track and grow using the free market principles the country was founded on. Our country was not founded on socialist, communist or marxist principles. Those principles have been proven not to work. Our country was founded on rights endowed by our Creator. Those are the principles that have been proven to work and the principles we need to stick with.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Hard Thought said:

To each and all who have commented here:First of all, including essential government services such as military, roads, bridges that are federal programs with police, fire departments which are municipal and state programs is misleading at best. Then to include entitlement spending is just plain wrong.The TEA party movement, at least as I understand it, is about the misuse of taxes already collected and the demand for more.Case in point: The federal tax on fuel was enacted to pay for road and bridge construction and their upkeep. This fund is diverted, yearly, to pet projects of certain congress members. Social Security taxes have already been collected, then used to fund other entitlement programs with only IOU's as funds and they are coming due.There should be a social safety net for people unable to care for themselves. There should NOT be programs available for people that WON'T take care of themselves.An example of the above paragraph that I am personally knowledgeable of is a young man in Nebraska that has been in prison, twice, for making methamphetamine and is now drawing Social Security Disability for ADD/HDD. He has never worked in his life and is taking advantage of the system. This is what is wrong with handing out benefits to people that game the system.Another example is giving social security to older immigrants that have never paid into it. Just plain wrong.There is a lot more, but you get the drift. The taxes have already been collected for the purposes they were designed for, then misspent on entitlement programs and now the government wants more.That is why I am a member of the TEA party movement.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:33 PM

BuzzardB in Havertown replied:

Hard Thought for Congress, Senate or President! Cannot agree more. And also, if we really want to look at confiscation of wages in the right light, you all should know that it is a form of slavery. Slavery was outlawed by the 14th amendment. But it is back every time a leftist politician speaks. Wake up fellow patriots.
Happy New Year,
BuzzardB

Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6:31 AM

Gary Barnes said:

I wanted to thank you for no longer posting Hamilton's purposeful scheming and lies in the Federalist papers as well as his quotes. He will be exposed for the evil he did to our Republic soon in an upcoming book (as will all his Federalists and their followers through the years).My question is: Where are we trying to get back to? The 1980's? The 1950's? The Tea Party people I have talked to have no clue about taking back our government. Most are one issue partisans. The "theme" is a good one, but unless we wipe out ALL things that destroyed our Republic, then we will always be a slave to what is left (pun intended).The fact that Hamilton "re-interpreted" the Constitution right out of the gate to unlimited "implied" powers and Justice John Marshall majically came up with judicial review, we must look all the way back to the beginning. The Constitutional Convention was rigged from the start when they trashed our Articles of Confederation and worked in secrecy. All elected officials since then (with the exception of the Jeffersonians) have simply consolidated central power.So just where do we go back too? The Constitution itself has shown little resistance to being over run. This will not change. Only through educating the masses about the anti-christ Hamilton with his cohorts, Marshall, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Wilson, Judge Hugo Black, and all the rest of them. Only through education about how these people and an endless list of others have purposely worked to undo the Republic can we then throw this current government out and establish a new one just as the Declaration of Independence states we MUST do in our current situation. The Tea Party is a small start, but thinking we can elect politicians who will vote to shrink our current government by some 90% and give ALL the power back to the states is just a dream.Your Humble ServantGary BarnesAuthor - An American Revival - Partisans No More.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Tom Sharpley said:

I am deeply disturbed by the direction of our country. I have two daughters, 15 and 9 and I want them to have the same world in which to live that I have had. It hurts to disparage the president because I was taught to respect him, the office, and what it represents. I think he thinks that he is doing right by the country. I also believe that his vision of America is terribly mis-guided and dangerous. We need to go in the opposite direction...I hope America feels the same way. I think we have a young population who is in "LaLa land" unfortunately. They don't see it for what it is.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Scott J. Thornton said:

Unlike the early Patriots of our Nation who called for "No taxation without representation," today we are afflicted with "Too much taxation with representation," and a ruling class who seem to have no limit as to how much of our hard-earned income they demand to fund their unconstitutional schemes. As Mr. Alexander points out, we are voters, and we are motivated to use this year's elections and those of 2012 to say, "No more!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM

ken barnes said:

it is best not to run a party member it would split.our effectiveness and keep the scum of both parties in office .just get rid of the people there that been there too long.or wrongly use there power to benifet themselves.as we will eventually replace tem and a third party will be born.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Bob W said:

Mark and Staff,You wrote: "As a result of this abject violation of constitutional Rule of Law, greatly amplified by the current Leftist administration of Barack Hussein Obama, American Patriots have, once again, mustered a Tea Party movement, which is growing in strength. This movement is not about revolution but restoration, at its core -- advancing any and all measures to restore Rule of Law."Leftist implies most liberal or "progressive," it does not identify them accurately philosophically as they truly are. Call the administration, their cronies, and their followers for what they really are, Socialists.They are Socialists, with no arguments possible. If you, or anyone in this country, can provide me an argument that shows otherwise, I too will call them "leftists," or if they like, progressives. But until someone proves otherwise, they are Socialists on the fast-track to becoming Maoists. Perhaps you just overlooked this one? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 2:00 PM

The Editor replied:

Or, as clearly stated in the second to last paragraph: "Obama and his Leftist cadres are clearly concerned that an enlightened grassroots movement to restore Rule of Law will undermine their Socialist agenda in the upcoming midterm election."

Leftist cadres = Socialists