Affordable Care Act could spark Obama’s Boston Tea Party

The hubris of King George III lit the fuse of revolution in Colonial America and forged unlikely alliances. Photo: Tea Party/ AP

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2013 — President Obama’s agenda keeps hitting the speed bumps created by divided government. Fundamentally transforming America is still a slow process. As they struggle to implement the Affordable Care Act, Obama and his progressive friends should take a note from history.

Tyrants often underestimate the intelligence and tolerance of the masses. Ultimately, it is their undoing. The hubris of King George III lit the fuse of revolution in Colonial America and forged unlikely alliances. 

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For early Americans, the last straw was the 1774 Intolerable Acts. These acts sought to isolate Massachusetts from the other colonies and punish them for all that tea wasted from Boston to Charleston

The administration’s response to its Obamacare problems looks increasingly Georgian. The new alliances forming against bad progressive policy are reminiscent of those long-ago Colonial days.

The administration’s insistence on rolling out the hugely expensive and non-functional website necessary to institute Obamacare’s individual mandate is forcing moderate Democrats to join Republicans in calling for delay.

Notable Hollywood progressives like Oliver Stone and John Cusack are making videos with the Libertarian Party to decry unprecedented privacy violations uncovered by NSA whistle-blowers.

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In 1776, excessive taxation alone didn’t bring everyone — from The Sons of Liberty to Quakers — around the fires of revolution. In the decade between the 1764 Sugar Act to the 1774 Intolerable Acts, King George grew increasingly brazen in his disdain for his subjects across the Atlantic.

Colonists understood the costs of protection of the ocean shipping lanes, the French and Indian war fought in the 1750s, and other benefits of British rule. But as free citizens, they could not stand by as their king made a mockery of their rights.

Instead of heeding the signs that the people were growing dangerously angry with the taxation schemes meant to support the growth of the empire, King George “exercised his power dogmatically at the very time that the American situation demanded flexibility,” writes Larry Schweikart in “A Patriot’s History of the United States.”

Following the destruction of tea in Boston Harbor and other harbors down the coast, King George proclaimed, the “colonists must either triumph or submit.”

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He decided to make an example of Boston. He closed Boston Harbor, annulled the charter of Massachusetts, required the people to house the soldiers he sent to keep them in line for little to nothing, and much more.

Prior to the Intolerable Acts of 1774, the cry against tyranny was mostly restricted to the outspoken journalists and writers of the day, men like Sam Adams, Tom Paine, and Josiah Quincy. They played the role of today’s Tea Party movement.

One striking difference is that those patriots had the media on their side, including an early form of social media in the form of Paul Revere and Joseph Warren. Revere’s famous midnight ride was one of many. He and friends kept a scattered string of revolutionaries informed by riding from one meeting to another, laying the foundation for what would become the Minutemen.

Leading up to the September 1774 Philadelphia Continental Congress, people from all walks of life, including writers, artists, merchants, farmers, and pastors, awoke to a horrifying fact. Their king had begun dispatching the military — once there to protect them — to harm them.

Colonials had carved out a place to work and worship as they pleased in the New World. They were willing to pay their fair share of taxes, but in return they wanted respect for their liberty as free people. This sentiment knit a cadre of Colonial leaders together. When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people,” they signed the document.


Carla Garrison follows current events with one eye on history and the other on the future.  Her goal is to encourage people to know the truth and use it as a call to personal action. Read more Truth be Told.

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Carla Garrison

Carla writes about current issues and events with an aim toward telling the truth, using the writings of great thinkers, dead and living, as well as common sense.

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