There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about these so called “tea parties” around the country. A few of them even took place right here in Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to attend the rally in Madison, and since most Marquette students did not get the chance to attend I thought I would relay the basic message back to the campus. After all, we wouldn’t want people to think that Marquette is a community that is sheltered from the happenings of the state of Wisconsin…
First, some history: The original Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773 and was the result of a number of issues. The first of such issues was the notion of taxation without representation; the Tea Act of 1773 was the main issue of dispute between the colonists and the legislature.
The colonial resistance to the Tea Act had little to do with high prices or taxes; in fact the price of legally imported tea was decreased by the Tea Act. It had much more to do with the notion of taxation without representation. Colonists were not willing to pay taxes levied on them by representatives not of their sovereignty. It was for this reason that the Tea Act was opposed, and why the colonists refused to accept the tea and ultimately destroyed it.
The call for a taxpayer “tea party” rally became nationally recognized when Rick Santelli, commentator for CNBC, promoted the idea of a “Chicago Tea Party” on the floor of the CME Group in Chicago. He said that the government was “promoting bad behavior” and made several other comments critical of the Obama administration. Support ensued from all around the country, and tea parties began popping up nationwide.
Wisconsin had several tea parties within the state: Racine, Appleton, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, etc. The largest one, however, was in our state capital. Over 8,000 people gathered to protest the high levels of government spending that has been taking place. The event had a great line up of speakers: Congressman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Americans for Prosperity Director Mark Block, radio talk show personality Vicki McKenna, Pastor David King of the Milwaukee God Squad and many more.
Immediately following the event, all members were asked to visit their local representatives’ offices and take one tea bag to each of their elected officials: one for their state assemblyperson, one for their state senator and one for the governor.
Regardless of your political position, I think we can agree that 8,200 people is an impressive display. Perhaps our elected officials should pay closer attention to what their constituents are saying… ????? ????
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