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Alice In Wonderland v. The Boston Tea Party

Four years since its eruption on the American political scene, the TEA Party movement appears to be guided more by Ayn Rand's fiction and less by an understanding of fundemental US history.

After President Obama gave his annual State of the Union speech, the Republicans followed with two rebuttals. Both Republican rebuttals were given by TEA Party darlings. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul gave the Republican TEA Party view from the crazy uncle side of the GOP and Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave the rebuttal from the angry-white-man’s side of the Republican Party that desperately wants a non-Caucasian on its Presidential ticket in 2016.

Both rebuttals covered the similar ground. However, Paul hi-lighted his flimsy grasp of reality when he said, “America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based not on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.”

Apparently, the only required reading to qualify for the TEA Party is the Constitution and an Ayn Rand’s novel. For some reason, the pro-abortion atheist Ayn Rand has become the patron saint of the God-fearing, pro-life Republican TEA Party. Paul has said he is “a big fan of Ayn Rand. I’ve read all her novels.”

Perhaps Rand Paul should read some actual United States history. He might learn the Constitution was ratified in 1788 and contains more than just the Second Amendment. When it was ratified, five black slaves were counted as the equivalent of three whites and the importation of slaves could not be banned for 20 years. Another provision basically stated that slaves are property not people.

The Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. This of course was after the bloodiest war in our nation’s history was fought. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified making African Americans citizens and guaranteeing all citizens “the equal protection of the laws.”  Of course, most Native Americans were excluded from this Amendment, as the government was busy trying to steal their lands and eliminate them through genocide.

In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified stating that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied of abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Of course, this didn’t mean women could vote. It also didn’t mean Southern states couldn’t keep blacks from voting or the local law would look the other way as hundreds of blacks were being lynched.  Even though a Constitutional amendment to grant women the right to vote was introduced in 1878, women didn’t get the right to vote until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.

Rand Paul’s statement that everybody was “free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness” when this country was founded is pure fiction. Paul and his TEA Party patriots should spend less time reading Ayn Rand’s fiction and more time reading American history. They might gain a broader understanding of reality and lose their latent teenage fantasies of being a fictional character in a poorly written novel by Ayn Rand.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cheryl Sykora February 28, 2013 at 01:28 PM
interesting article. hopefully all those who espouse the Tea Party also have renounced accepting medicare, social security, farm subsidies and any other monies they would view as government hand outs and are living by their freedom principles of not taking anything from anybody including the tax paying anti-Tea party public.
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Interesting "article". What more does one need besides the Constitution of the United States of America as the guide for our government? When changes were needed, ammendments were made. People are free to pursue life, liberty and happimess and should. The government should allow people to do that, not impede it. One of the ways that the government impedes it is by taking from those that are earners and giving to those that are not. I work and I pay taxes. I have no problem with taxes that support infrastructure such as roads, schools, law enforcement, the military, fire departments etc. I do have a problem with most welfare, whether it be to people that are under motivated or corporations. The government could save a lot of money by eliminating corporate welfare and stop giving money to those that do nothing to earn it, i.e. Social Security benefits to those that never paid in to it. The author of this piece is showing an obvious left slant and with it is focusing on just a small piece of the puzzle, kind of like what happens on MSNBC. The bigger picture is that our country is in a bad situation right now. Our problems are not with the color or ethnicity of our president but with spending money in foolish ways. I want a government that doesn't spend beyond its means and spends wisely. I want my country to be modern and safe. I want my country to encourage innovation and its citizens to be motivated.
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Cheryl, if someone pays for something, i.e. Social Security or Medicare, how is that a handout?
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 02:07 PM
wow...some more of that liberal "understanding, compassion and acceptance..."
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 02:10 PM
James, If you don't have cable, how are you watching Fox news? The slant you are using in your talking points would be very much in line with what MSNBC "reports". You are discussing a small piece of the big picture. the government's overall debt is in the tens of trillions of dollars and the annual debt is over a trillion dollars. That is spending beyond one's means. I hope I have adequately answered your questions.
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Liberals are very accepting if you agree with them. . .
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM
..and there is some more...
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 02:36 PM
James, Thank you for getting some facts on the debt. In answer to your question, the government should not spend more than they take in. Any other questions?
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Funny. You want to cut military spending because its so expensive...the MILITARY........that orginization that is basically socialism...its what the left drool over and want to make the entire country like. Can you even imagine the numbers to fund it?
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Oh I love hypocrites. . . I think I want to go hug a tree. . .
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 03:02 PM
you cant hug a tree with nuclear arms...
Frank McGruber February 28, 2013 at 03:16 PM
James, regardless of your beliefs or goal behind your article, your presentation invalidates everything you say and destroys all credibility you think you have. Your displayed vitriol, disrespect, hatred, arrogance, vicious sarcasm, and name calling make this piece utter trash.
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 03:32 PM
its an opinion piece...
Frank McGruber February 28, 2013 at 04:37 PM
"I'm not perfect" is no excuse. The point is, do you expect anybody to take what you are saying seriously when presented the way it is? It comes across as a delusional rant. Wait. That's exactly what it is... Nevermind.
Marty McFly February 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM
James, I am left with one word. . . WOW!
Vested Interest March 01, 2013 at 02:57 PM
What is completely missed in this opinion piece by James P Nelson is understanding why people, as those he's labeled as TEA Party darlings, are requesting government to follow the guiding document of our founding - our Constitution. It's the document on which all our laws are based. And when laws or positions are taken counter to that document, there's going to be consequences - most likely bad which could lead to severe. Justice Joseph Story, back 1840, described our Founding document in these terms: We shall treat [our Constitution], not as a mere compact, or league, or confederacy, existing at the mere will of any one or more of the States, during their good pleasure; but, (as it purports on its face to be) as a Constitution of Government, framed and adopted by the people of the United States, and obligatory upon all the States, until it is altered, amended, or abolished by the people, in the manner pointed out in the instrument itself. So yes, Mr. Nelson, I do consider our Constitution required reading. As for Ayn Rand, I don't know, it probably isn't anymore harmful than any other material students are forced to read by our public school system. But this much I'm pretty sure of, we as a country can either follow the process defined to change our Constitution or spill blood trying or doing something different.
Marty McFly March 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM
James, I am not sure if you realize how you came across in this extremely opinionated piece or your subsequent rebuttals. You may want to ask a friend/family member to look over what you have posted.
Celeste Koeberl March 01, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Marty, might not what you see as a government impediment, "by taking from those that are earners and giving to those that are not", instead be exactly what the U.S. Constitution authorized in Article I, Section 8? "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; . . . To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States or in any Department or Officer thereof. " And in Amendment XVI? "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
Robert Burke March 01, 2013 at 06:26 PM
I neither expect nor will ever receive Social Security. It's gone. Both Parties spent it. Try harder to understand how badly they have messed things up Marty. I was laid off and I will not apply for unemployment. I planned ahead to take care of myself. Sadly the system has robbed people of the ability to do this. I just happen to be lucky. I also don't belong to the Tea Party. I'm a Libertarian. The Tea Party was taken over by the Republicans.
Robert Burke March 01, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Friend, what we are doing now is not for the "General Welfare". Specific groups benefit from most of the legislation being passed since about 1889. There is nothing "General" about it. And on our current path it's our children who are "generally" on the hook for the bill. You should read the Federalist Papers. None of this was intended by the founders.
Marty McFly March 01, 2013 at 08:54 PM
It is interesting how those on the left who want the entitlements distort the Constitution to justify their take from the rich and give to the lazy mentality. . .
Marty McFly March 01, 2013 at 09:02 PM
James, Sorry but my goal in life isn't to be your filter. I do lean to the right, I will not deny that. If you don't believe that what you have posted so far is left leaning, you probably think that the media is honest. . . By the way, I have a bridge for sale, would you like to buy it?
Marty McFly March 01, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Looks like JP is sharing a bit more of the left's tolerance. . .
Rich Petersen March 01, 2013 at 10:31 PM
"Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population." The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/01-6
Robert Burke March 02, 2013 at 12:12 PM
From Wikipedia- "On February 19, 2009, in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC Business News editor Rick Santelli criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages, which had just been announced the day before. He said that those plans were "promoting bad behavior" by "subsidizing losers' mortgages". He suggested holding a tea party for traders to gather and dump the derivatives in the Chicago River on July 1. A number of the floor traders around him cheered on his proposal, to the amusement of the hosts in the studio. Santelli's "rant" became a viral video after being featured on the Drudge Report. According to The New Yorker writer Ben McGrath and New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, this is where the movement was first inspired to coalesce under the collective banner of "Tea Party". By the next day, guests on Fox News had already begun to mention this new "Tea Party"." And once Fox got their hands on it the propaganda machine kicked in and it became a Republican Extension. I'm meeting many disaffected former Tea Party members who now see clearly, this is now about electing Republicans- Who have now voted for a tax increase. They say it was on the wealthy, but of course, we all know taxes get paid at the register so that was just another tax increase...on us. Nice Job Tea Party. Let's elect more Republicans...
Robert Burke March 02, 2013 at 12:16 PM
James- We had an excellent start thank you. Very nice article in the paper. March 12 at UWRF 7 PM. Subscribe to our YouTube.com/LibertyValleyWI channel for updates. Nice thing about this way is you can stay informed whether you join or not. Peace-

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