In the aftermath of a prospective campaign for mayor I may or may not have undertaken months before anyone could even qualify for the race, I have been inspired by the so-called “Tea Party” movement to give up on running for office and instead start my own grassroots rebellion.
As you may know, the Tea Party movement supposedly is a nationwide uprising of the discontented, and if I had a nickel for every time I could be counted among the discontented, my bank would charge me a fee to roll the coins and Delta would charge me extra for bringing them in my carry-on luggage aboard a plane.
But as much as I would love to join the Tea Party movement, I can’t, for a number of reasons, one of which is — and I mean this in the nicest possible way — “tea party” sounds kind of sissy.
I mean, seriously, if your movement’s going to be a “tea party,” why don’t you just sit around a little table with your teddy bears, rag dolls and tiny tea set, serving Earl Grey and eating “scones” and “crumpets”?
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The “Tea Party” movement takes its name from a popular uprising in November 1773, when the Sons of Liberty, dressed as American Indians, raided ships loaded with tea and dumped the cargo into Boston harbor.
Imagine how a major TV network would cover that incident today: “Brian, I’m here at Boston harbor where witnesses say a mob of Cleveland Indian fans stormed a container ship and dumped tea overboard, causing a massive fish kill. The EPA is investigating, and the Boston Red Sox vow this insult will not go unavenged.”
Silly, isn’t it? So as a real American, I cannot sit back and let a “tea party” represent the American Revolution of today.
Thus I propose we instead start a movement based on an uprising along the first U.S. frontier: The Whiskey Rebellion.
It was a rebellion of independent producers penalized by a tax on distilled spirits, with the revenue intended to get our infant nation out of debt (the first time).
The tax was OK with big distilleries east of the Allegheny Mountains because the more whiskey that was produced, the cheaper the tax. But it was not OK with local distillers west of the mountains, who did not produce as much whiskey and had to pay a higher rate.
So in July 1794, they rebelled, and President George Washington at Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s urging sent in the militia, right after some whiskey rebels attacked a revenuer, started a gunfight and burned down his house.
Is that patriotic or what?
The heck with tea parties. Let’s initiate a Whiskey Rebellion, conducting rallies where we wave our own handmade signs that say things like: “Do not frisk me for my whiskey!” or “You can’t mash our distilled spirits!”
Rallies on the Columbus Government’s Center’s south side may begin with a bonfire ceremoniously ignited, like at the Olympics, by an eternal flame. And some grain alcohol.