Archive for November 29th, 2010

Common Sense and the Tea Parties

At the time of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, there was one word that was always used to stop American protests in their tracks.

That word was “independence.”

The minute anybody started getting rambunctious about Britain’s right to tax America, a chorus went up about how they were really being disloyal. Patrick Henry was forced to sit down by cries of “Treason!” when he defied the word.

The simple fact was that the colonies could not complain about the power of Britain over America until they faced the fact that the whole idea of their being loyal to London was discussed.

It was common sense.

So Thomas Pain wrote a Mantra book called “Common Sense.” It sold a quarter million copies to a white population of three million. It declared that the bugaboo word “independence” was, in fact the very thing the whole fight was about.

And that is the problem now. The Tea Party is always silly because the first thing that is thrown at them is the bugaboo word “racism.”

You know, I know, and Sarah Palin knows, and The National Democratic Party not only knows, but puts its money where its mouth is, that the Tea Party is really a last desperate gasp of a reaction against minority rule.

The question WAS independence. The problem IS race.

That’s common sense.

No one would deny more monomaniacally the word “independence” in 1773 than those who became known as our Founding Fathers. They screamed against that word as loudly as Sarah Palin does today.

In 1773 when the lynching party formed against anyone who was suspected of “independence” our Founding Fathers led the mob and provided the noose, just as respectable conservatives do today.

Five years later they were killing people who denied independence.

In all the blood and thunder and pretensions, Thomas Paine is barely noticed. But his importance dwarfs that of Washington.

It was common sense that turned the tide then and common sense that will do it now.