The New Revolution: What Would Our Founding Fathers Think?

I was browsing through the latest political and social commentary that is the Huffington Posts website when an interesting article caught my eye: The Weird Contradictions of the Tea Bag Revolution by Bob Cesca. This sounded interesting to me because I favor history over other subjects and when someone uses it to analyze current day situations it amounts to the coolest thing ever (for me). While reading I learned quite a lot and it spiked my interest in this weird contradictory protest, so I, myself, did a little research and these are some of the interesting reasons for this “revolution” that I have come across. Some of these reasons include people blaming the current president, and the government, for increasing the National Deficit, people’s anger at the stimulus plans designed to help people keep their jobs, taxing the “people” (i.e. the upper 5% of the population that is considered wealthy), and overall making people help their fellow citizens that are in need of assistance. I would like to point out my opinion on the above topics.

On Pajamas TV, a right wing online “news” show, the stimulus plans are being called “pork” as in “pork spending”. This comment interests me because the money that is being spent to further boost our economy so that we can afford to pay off our National Deficit is being put to shame as unwanted spending when during the Bush administration the billions of dollars being spent on the war was considered necessary. When did we get to a point when money spent on blowing up and then rebuilding another country was considered mandatory, and money spent on helping people keep their jobs, money spent on improving healthcare, and generally assist and improve America is considered “pork spending”? Also, to top it off, Bush was the one that started organizing and planning the stimulus bill, Obama was the one who adopted it and implemented it.

On the note of the current President being blamed for increasing our national deficit: how do you fix a country without spending any money? Before Bush was elected in 2000 may I point out that Clinton (yes, a money-spending, people-taxing liberal!) brought the National Deficit to a remarkable low after inheriting a huge National Deficit from Bush Sr. in the 1990s. It is also interesting to point out that George Bush Senior had brought the Deficit to the highest point that it had ever reached until his son beat him in the first two years of his presidency. So, is the current day scenario ringing any bells for anyone? You cannot blame the president who is struggling with bringing down the huge national deficit for not doing it within the first months of his presidency. It may have only taken a few years to bring our deficit to an all time high, but it will take much longer for Obama to even bring it down to an “acceptable” height.

My comment on Mr. Obama’s plan to retract the Bush tax cuts on the upper classes: Please learn your history! October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, is the widely accepted day that the “Great Depression” started. Although the economy had been in a slow downturn before this horrible day, it is still thought of as the beginning of a national catastrophe. Herbert Hoover, the president at the time, tried to convince the people that “bright days” where around the corner, but when the Depression spread into the 1930s and his name was being used all over the country in decidedly negative ways (ex: “Hoovervilles”, and “Hooverblankets”) he decided that it was time for a new policy. His brilliant idea was to give people with money more money to spend on the economy. This economic strategy is called “Trickle-down economics” and has been a popular Republican strategy since its start in the 1930s.

Maybe, that is even what Mr. Bush was thinking about when he implemented his tax cuts for the rich, but as we can see it didn’t work for him, and it didn’t work for Hoover either. “People did not eat in the long term” and that is what his plan was, long term. His poll rates plummeted farther and it was certain in 1932 that Hoover could not win, and he didn’t. His competitor Franklin D. Roosevelt became the next president of the United States, and promised “A New Deal”. His New Deal consisted of the alphabet programs and other community helping organizations. Obama is our New Deal, like it or not. Now, of course the Great Depression is on a much bigger scale then our current situation, and lasted 10 years, but the point is that Bush was essentially giving money to the rich with the tax cuts, like Herbert Hoover, and Obama is taking away those privileges, just as Roosevelt did, to better fund the tax cuts for the middle class.

To quote Bob Cesca, “You are responsible for your neighbors’ mortgage.” In a practical view your own property value will decrease after a foreclosure on your street, but also it makes sense from a moral standpoint. What many republican politicians and citizens are saying is “I’m not worried about my fellow citizens; I am too self centered to help them!” This is contradictor to the point of a protest. A protest is meant to further your own opinions (which is fine) and, hopefully, end up helping the people around you. This is what the Tea Party protests seemed to be aimed toward, but how can you say you want to help other people with a peaceful protest, when you are also saying that you cannot help others around you. Also, people are angry at the government because they believe that the government is “rewarding” people who bought houses that they could not afford. Of course, when someone makes such a decision they should be expected, as a reasoning human being, to take responsibility for their actions, but there are some people who could afford their house when they bought it. But with the economic crisis they found that all of a sudden their money that was supposedly safely stored in a bank was gone. What do they do then? I believe that the housing stimulus is more focused on these people.

I think that our current situation requires Americans to stand together, and help each other. If you cannot afford to help your neighbor with money, then do community service, give food to someone on the street, and generally help yourself by helping others. In times of strife and turmoil, such as this, it is time to go back to the basics, and one basic specifically. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you had lost your home would you want someone to give you a few dollars? Right now you might say that he/she is not my responsibility and that he/she put himself/herself in that situation, but what if it happened to you? You might have put yourself in that situation but would you still want help? Would you still consider yourself a human being, and worthy of being treated like one?

So, may I ask you this, with the proof that I have lain out above, is it this protest necessarily the best way to help America? You decide.

These are some of the links that I used to research my above article, and hopefully will be helpful in your quest for answers! Enjoy!

1. http://www.pjtv.com/video/PJTV_Daily/Joe_the_Plumber_at_the_Tea_Party_Protest_in_Washington%2C_DC/1451/;jsessionid=abc8zJeqkbcJOg8tWIFas

2. http://taxdayteaparty.com/teaparty.html

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