The Ethics that Revolve Around the Tea Party Movement
When most people think about the Tea Party Protest, they think about the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, a group of colonists boarded ships loaded with tea and destroyed it by throwing it into the Boston Harbor. The basis of the protest comes from the famous saying “no taxation without representation.” After the Tea Act was passed, tea became one of the next items in the new world to bear a tax. Although the basis for the movement is similar, the Tea Party Protests presented in this paper represent the modern movement started in 2009. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the ethics that revolve around the movement and determine if their protests are in line with their common beliefs. To be able to fully understand the movement’s ethics, a brief history will be presented, followed by an outline of the movement’s core beliefs. Once the beliefs are fully understood, the ethics behind the individual protests will be easy to analyze. When you think about the history of the modern Tea Party Movement, you cannot discount how the past has affected the present. The ideal of liberty and self-government is not modern at all. Although the Boston Tea Party is not a direct precedent for the modern movement, it certainly carries some of the same ideals that are part of the current platform. Through the centuries, men have understood that their rights come from God and have fought for them to be guaranteed beginning way back with the Magna Carta, to the English Bill of Rights all the way through to the U.S. Bill of Rights. The modern movement is considered to start in February 2009, just one month after President Obama took office. Rick Santelli is credited with starting the movement with a rant against the Obama Administration’s proposal to help homeowners refinance their mortgages when faced with foreclosure. He is famously quoted for saying that he would organize a Chicago Tea Party and dump “some derivative securities into Lake Michigan.” Even though this event is the one that caught everyone’s attention, Keli Carender from Seattle had already been blogging to get the word out about the “Porkulus Protest” she was organizing against the proposed stimulus plan. The first organized Tea Party protest would be held on February 27, 2009 with events held in more than 40 cities. As the Tea Party gained steam, their biggest protest as of yet would be held on April 15, 2009; tax day. The number of people who participated in this protest cannot be agreed to, but the range is anywhere from 250,000 to more than a half-million. The protests continued to grow with major events being held on July 4 and September 12, 2009. The protests were against a variety of things such as the stimulus package, the bank bailouts and healthcare legislation. Although there is no main figurehead of the party, Sarah Palin made a key address at the Tea Party Convention in February 2010. In July of 2010, the congressional Tea Party Caucus was created by Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann. The caucus focuses on Tea Party principles including limiting government adhering to the Constitution and maintaining strict fiscal responsibility. The first true test of the Tea Party was the 2010 elections. The first major victory for the party was when Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the Senate race to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy. In the election the Tea Party had representatives in 138 races for Congress, all of whom were Republican. The number of Tea Party affiliated winners were small during the election, but it did not stop the party from exerting pressure on Republican leaders cut taxes and spending and repeal the healthcare legislation. Initially, it did not seem that the Tea Party would have a large impact on the 2012 elections. In fact, many of their incumbent candidates face a tough race. In states that are almost guaranteed to be dominated...
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