Where George Washington and Today's Tea Party Part Company
Nothing in contemporary American politics irks me quite as much as how the so-called "tea party" movement wraps their collective selves up as representing the best interests of the Founding Fathers of America. It is one thing to dress up as Continental Soldiers with tricorner hats and shout "No taxes" slogans and wave "Don't Tread on Me" flags from the 1770's. It is another to acurately reflect the history of that period.
They simply don't do their homework about the schisms between those like Alexander Hamilton who saw a need for the United States to be a manufacturing power and those Jeffersonians who feared the rule of urban financiers and favored an agrarian economic system. We have had schisms in our nation from its founding: they cannot be reconciled as being of little consequence except by the ignorant activists among us who see wrapping themselves up in revolutionary garb as a way to rationalize away their desire to pay less taxes and let someone else bear the costs for endless wars and balancing state budgets.
As Professor Paul Henriques of George Mason University in Virginia writes:
'In seeking to reconcile Hamilton and Jefferson (whose views were every bit as divergent as those of the tea party and Obama are today), the president eloquently urged forbearance: "I would fain hope that liberal allowances will be made for the political opinions of one another; and instead of those wounding suspicions and irritating charges there might be mutual forebearances and temporizing yieldings on all sides, without which I do not see how the reins of government are to be managed."
For the full article, please see the link below:
From the 2008 HBO Mini-Series "John Adams"--Paul Giamatti is Vice President Adams, Stephen Dillane is Secretary of State Jefferson, Rufus Sewell is Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton, and David Morse is President Washington.