Thursday, April 8, 2010

Picking a Fight with Patriots

By Alan Caruba

The British, when they still ruled the American colonies, learned to their displeasure what a bad idea it is to pick a fight with patriots.

By the time the Revolution began the colonies had been running their own affairs for a long time and, while many saw benefits in being allied with one of the great powers of their times and their world, they soon tired of “taxation without representation.”

The colonists had no say in Parliament and generally regarded it, not the king, as the source of their problems. The British, however, had spent themselves into huge debt by pursuing various wars. Parliament saw the colonies as a source of revenue with which to dig themselves out of that debt. One way was to monopolize what the colonies could import and another way was to tax those imports.

The problem for the British was the long established practice of Americans to ignore any legislation or taxes they did not like. Decades before the Revolution ignited, a British official named Edward Randolph wrote “There is no notice taken of the act of navigation, plantation, or any other laws made in England for the regulation of trade. All nations having free liberty to come into their ports and vend their commodities without any restraint…” Apparently, Randolph noted, Americans regarded themselves as “a free state and do act in all matters accordingly.”

We tend to see men like Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere through the gauzy haze of a distant time, but we should remind ourselves that they were real men trying to cope with an increasingly difficult situation.

Their grievances were real and they had grown up in a place where liberty, the freedom to worship as they wanted, to publish what they wanted, and engage in commerce as they wanted was not only well established, but valued above all else. They had a good understanding of the British constitution and the rights it granted. It was Britain, far across the Atlantic, that controlled their fortunes and, through a series of abuses, Britain lost their allegiance.

The importance of tea cannot be underestimated. By 1769, Americans were importing 900,000 pounds of English tea, but by 1773 that was not longer the case, in large part due to the Tea Act of 1773. It was a tax specific to the colonies. Americans began to boycott tea. Coffee would come to be seen as a more patriotic brew to drink.

Adams, Hancock, Revere, and others had formed the Sons of Liberty, a group that on December 16, 1773 boarded three ships from England, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, and dumped 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor.

The event would become known as the Boston Tea Party and from that event today’s Tea Party members take their name. The source of oppressive taxes, unimaginable waste, and unpopular legislation is now the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Such events and groups do not occur in a vacuum. They are preceded by earlier abuses and in the case of the colonies there was a Stamp Act that was so strongly resisted Parliament repealed it. In Massachusetts, the royal governor and other officials appointed by the king were so unpopular that they were frequently under attack. Effigies were hung from an elm in North Boston that became known as the Liberty Tree.

There can be few more foolish acts by any government in power than to ignore Americans, to force upon them legislation the majority opposes, to bring shame to the nation in various ways. Patient to a fault, Americans have a long track record of opposing oppression that runs contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

By coincidence, I have been reading Joel J. Miller’s excellent biography, “The Revolutionary Paul Revere.” Made famous by a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Paul Revere’s Ride”, Revere had made a long ride the night of the Tea Party to inform the New York Committee of Correspondence about the event. Another rode to Philadelphia for the same purpose. The ride immortalized by Longfellow was “On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five.”

Paul Revere, silversmith and patriot, lived to the age of 83, dying in May 1818; long enough a life to encompass the tempestuous birth of America in its earliest years. He would live through the Revolution, the original Articles of Confederation, and in 1787, the Constitution under which Americans live today, still enjoying the blessings of liberty.

In Boston, the church bells tolled his passing. One newspaper said, “Seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful.”

The spirit of Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty still lives. America is home again to Tea Parties.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Guy said...

Great post as usual Alan, but I'm sorry to say I simply can't share your optimism. The Americans that you reminisce about were a totally different breed than the majority of Americans today. It pains me to have to say this, but we're just not the same people we used to be.

The Ameicans who had the courage to oust England and give us our independence were a group of hard working, independent people, who had never seen a government handout in their lives. They had to scratch and claw for what they needed each and every day. When they found themselves faced with oppression from a government that wasn't doing much, if anything, FOR them, and was taking a lot FROM them, they rebelled.

They had a strong work ethic and a fierce sense of independence. They had very little to lose, and a whole lot to gain by kicking England out of America. They also had the advantage of being on their home turf, while England had it's hands full elsewhere.

Today, we have a HUGE percentage of lazy, unmotivated people in this country. They couldn't care less what the government does to the rest of us as long as THEY keep getting their check. People are pouring out of the woodwork as I write this, screaming for their free health care, and it really sickens me to see it....

We now have a country where the majority of the population is either ON assistance, or EXPECTS to be on assistance in some form or another. Socialists have slowly seeded their philosophies into our lives as we've basked in the warmth and comfort of our past success here, and those seeds have taken root with a vengeance.

They have invaded our educational system and programmed our youth to believe that they DESERVE a job, DESERVE health care, DESERVE food, DESERVE a home ... the list goes on and on. Big government is now the answer to everything, and they've slowly but steadily gotten a HUGE percentage of our people hooked on their ever-growing list of handouts and entitlements.

As promised, Socialists silently invaded America without firing a shot, by using our educational system and our government as their Trojan horses. We are completely surrounded by them now, on a battlefield that THEY have designed. The deck is stacked in their favor.

Whoever tries to interfere with them is going to be fighting the massive federal government AND over 50% of the population of this country, on a playing filed designed to put people like us at an extreme disadvantage. Anyone who protests or tries to prevent having the fruits of their labor confiscated to pay for the entitlements of others will be figuratively dragged through the streets. Our politicians and the media that they control will see to that, and the masses, who happen to be on the receiving end of the equation, will happily cheer them on.

It's going to require divine intervention, or some giant mistake on the part of the government to reverse this course we're on. I wish I didn't have to say this, because I've been trying to be as positive and hopeful as I can, but the way I see it, our course is charted now, and it's going to be a very rough road for anyone who resists.

Meanwhile, those who go with the flow and play along will have a smooth ride until the end, at which point they will awaken to find themselves in the exact same situation as the rest of us ... enslaved to a ruling class that can take what it wants, when it wants, leaving nothing but the scraps behind for the rest of us.

I hope, with all my heart, that you're right and that the remaining real Americans will stand up and take their country back from these people. It may not be too late if we act now.

Ten years from now though, when every man, woman, and child is getting some form of assistance? Forget it ....

Alan Caruba said...

Guy, I cannot improve on your comment.

A. Rational Human said...

Who is John Galt?

Rachel P said...

Another excellent post, Alan, and though I also wish to share your optimism, I'm afraid that Guy also had some excellent points to make. I wish it were not so, but I believe he is 100% right. However, I also believe that you are 100% right too, Alan...I just hope that there are enough true patriots left to stand up and truly make a difference.

Are you familiar with Congressman John Fleming from Louisiana? I've been following him as of late, and I'm very impressed with him. It's men like him in Congress that allow me to continue to have hope.

Ronbo said...

I hate to rain on your parade Guy and Alan, but I don't think the Americans who count are going to roll over and play dead for a bunch of little commie beta male girly men led by the psychopathic bisexual Obama.

It is true, that patriots are thin on the ground in comparison to the American population of over 300 million; however, at least 10% of this 300 million, around 30 million, are madder than hell and many of them long for the day that the rope and the gun settles our accounts with the Leftist traitors who infest our body politic.

The sons of George Washington, Sam Adams and Patrick Henry are alive and well in this country.

Alan Caruba said...

I realize I misrepresented my own views when I commended Guy on how well he presented his.

To answer your questions about whether there are enough Americans to defend ourself against those in DC, I suggest you Google Images "Tea Party + Washington, DC"

You will see photos of hundreds of thousand of people like like yourself.

They will not allow the government to ignore them.

Guy said...

All I can say is:

"I hope you guys are right".

I'll certainly stand with you, and I know many others who will too, but I worry that too many people will just keep talking, and nothing will actually ever get done.

Nobody, myself included, seems ready to take any serious action. There's always that fear of being the first one to step forward, and having everyone else take two steps back. We keep waiting for something to happen that will cause us all to step forward in unison, but it just hasn't happened, and the Progressives' trampling of our Constitution and our liberties continues unchecked.

It seems they know just how far they can push us with each little bite, so the chances that they will do something really outrageous and give us a reason to unite against them are highly unlikely.

Meanwhile, as everyone waits for that to happen, they just keep whittling away, at our youth, at our minds, at our liberties, and at our wallets.

It's going to take a spark and I just fear it may never come.

Desertrat said...

If John Williams of Shadowstats is anywhere near correct in his analysis as given in

those who are expecting government largesse are in deep doo-doo.

"There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; and for the toothless, teeth will be provided."


"But, but, what will I do?"

"Get a job."

"Where? How?"

"I'm paying a buck an hour. Take it or leave it."

Hey, what's a little deflation among friends?

T. F. Stern said...

Thank you for reminding everyone of the Spirit which makes America free, the will to overcome tyranny in all its forms. May we regain this Spirit and return liberty to the individual.

Ronbo said...

Guy said:

"Nobody, myself included, seems ready to take any serious action. There's always that fear of being the first one to step forward, and having everyone else take two steps back. We keep waiting for something to happen that will cause us all to step forward in unison, but it just hasn't happened, and the Progressives' trampling of our Constitution and our liberties continues unchecked."

I know what you mean about "no serious action" being taken at the moment. The waiting for action gets on every patriot's nerves. I would compare this time to a combat assault were the soldiers are briefed, suited up and ready to get on the helicopters for the hot LZ but the mission keeps getting delayed..They say that waiting for action is the hardest part of the battle.

However, there's nothing to done about it. The patriots have a check list to go thru in order to resolve the coming conflict by peaceful means...Demonstrations..CHECK...Elections...CHECK...Civil Disobedience...CHECK.

Only when all means of peaceful redress have run their course unsuccessfully do the guns come off the rifle racks. After all, what the patriots do is for the history books. They cannot let it be recorded that the they didn't walk the last mile to stop a civil war and all the horror connected with it.

The blame for violence should rest on the shoulders of its authors - The American Left - who have, step by step, forced those of us who love liberty more than life itself to seriously consider armed resistance against our own government.

Thus we have reached another "tipping point" in American history that at this stage does not seem to have a solution other than the battlefield. I do not know when the first shot will be fired, this year, next year, or the year after, but I only know it will be and come as a complete surprise to many and no surprise to a few who studied the dynamics of the situation and thought outside the box.

But one day soon there it will be...In living color on the television screens. A civil war that has been in the cards since the late 1960s - A tipping point reached - and a country that at the end of the conflict will be one thing, or the other.

PatriotUSA said...

Lots of great comments but I
remain steadfastly confident
that this wholesale hijacking
of our country by the commie
demosocialistacrats will be
stopped and defeated. It will
start this November and pick
up momentum. The left is sure
we Americans will forget by
the next election about the
horrors that this president
(not mine) and the leftards
have forced upon us, against
our voices that said no.

Sadly, it may get to the point
that this struggle will turn
violent and there wil be new
blood spilled of those who
belive in the Constitution
and true conservative values.
Obama only cares about his
legacy, his arrogance, hatred
and ignorance of what this
country truly is, will be his

Many of you have made some fine
points and these must be taken
into consideration by those
of us who are ready to fight
for what we know is right.
The truth and freedom will
prevail in the end.

Alan I would like your
permission to cross post
this at my site. I always
credit the author and leave
links back to his/her site.

If you need to you can contact
me at