Feel Free to Send Me Your Tea

Right around New Year’s, I switched from coffee to tea. So, if anybody is truly looking to send some tea anywhere, please let me know. I’d be happy to take it off your hands and put it to good use.

Please feel free to use my contact page here to get my information so that you can send the tea directly to me. As I said, it you don’t want it, I can understand. Tea (as UT grads will tell you) is an acquired taste. But if you’re looking to unload some…please….seriously….send it my way. Happy to have it.

All kidding aside, what the heck are the organizers of these things hoping to accomplish?

And do they even know what “tea bagging” means in slang? Because I’m not gonna tell ’em. And I’m not even gonna tell you. You can use “The Google” and figure it out for yourselves. It will take you all of thirty seconds to find the “slang” definition of a “tea bagger.” And when you find it, I guarantee it will make your jaw drop.

Did the organizers know what it means when they came up with this idea?

Bizarre.

What they seem to be going for is an historical association with one of the most powerful stories from our nation’s history: the Boston Tea Party.

The cry then was “Taxation Without Representation!”

The anger then was that Colonists would have to pay the high taxes on British tea. So, dressed like Indians (or, maybe not, depending upon which historian you ask…), they threw it into the bottom of Boston Harbor. If you take the “Freedom Trail” tour in Boston, your tour guide will insist that scientists find traces of tea on the bottom of the harbor, even to this day.

But is that what’s really going on here?

No, not really. Fact of the matter is, each and every um, “tea bagger” (that is the last time I will use that term…) has a representative in the US Congress. Every single one of them. There is no lack of representation.

So, it’s not about a lack of representation, per se.

And, tax rates have never been lower on our upper income brackets. Obama has pledged to raise those rates back to where they were in the time of Bill Clinton.

The crazy thing? These, um, “tea folk” (see, I don’t know what to call them without giggling…) they call Obama a “socialist” for this. In fact, there is one ultra-conservative member of congress who claims to know seventeen of his colleagues who are “socialists.” He can’t name them, but he say that’s what they are.

BTW, know which president had a higher tax rate on the rich?

Ronald Reagan.

Was he a “socialist?”

So, it’s not really about “tax rates” either, is it?

It’s not about “representation,” and it’s not about “taxation.”

That leaves only one other thing that this can be about, really. And this takes us, most decidedly, beyond what is funny or tongue-in-cheek.

The only thing I can think of that it’s really about is fomenting the overthrow of our elected leaders.

Sorry if that seems an extreme. But I’m just having a hard time seeing what the real issue is. It’s not lack of “representation.” It’s the lack of representation that these people agree with. They have duly elected representatives. They have a President. They are called on, as Americans, to support those elected leaders.

But they seem totally unwilling. So, they seem to be fomenting insurrection instead.

When ultra-liberals do this, it manifests itself the form of protests against the IMF, the World Bank, and “the man” in general. It’s usually a bunch of youngish hooligans who meet up at the “G-20” summit to throw tires through bank windows. (Or, was that a commercial I saw once?)

But when these liberals do their “bit,” the news media and polite society roundly condemns them as being unwilling to “play by the rules.”

When ultra-conservatives plan a “Tea Party?” FOX News helps sponsor it, and sends Glen Beck to the Alamo for live broadcast.

BTW, Glen, you wouldn’t have lasted ten seconds at the actual Alamo.

Just sayin’

I actually agree with John Stewart on this. Last week, he came to basically this same conclusion in one of his segments. As with some of his stuff, the language is a little strong, but Stewart says conservatives seem to be confusing “tyranny” with “losing.” Watch it here:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Baracknophobia – Obey
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor

(Can’t see the player? Click here.)

So, to all the, um, “tea-folk” out there who think they are striking some great note for democracy and freedom, let me just give you my two cents….

This all looks a little crazy, really. The Boston Tea Party was a very creative move by people who had no representation or power. But you “tea folk” now have both. You just don’t seem to like the elected power that’s been in office for all of a whopping ten weeks.

In its day, the Tea Party inspired people to invent a new system of government. But now, we don’t have to throw tea over the side of the boat anymore. We don’t have to send it to Washington.

Because, now, we do something differently here in America, that have made “tea parties” all but obsolete for two hundred years.

We hold ELECTIONS.

They work pretty well, really.

And they’re a lot kinder to the tea.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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