My friend Myron Magnet turned his prodigious erudition and intellect on the Tea Party at City Journal this week, tracing the lines that connect the party to our founders and the ordinary revolutionaries for whom they spoke. In doing this, Myron helped give the Tea Partiers a voice with which to answer the off-their-meds haters like Frank Rich, who pretzel themselves trying to find racism wherever anyone disagrees with them. Here’s Myron’s condensed, powerful and just about perfect opening:
The Tea Party movement is a healthy reminder that the United States began as a tax revolt. From the 1765 Stamp Act Congress, when the American colonists first called their representatives together to declare their “undoubted right . . . that no taxes be imposed on them, but with their own consent,” to the Boston Tea Party eight years later, when the Sons of Liberty dumped a shipload of tea into the harbor rather than accept Britain’s right to tax that normally soothing commodity, the Founding Fathers militantly denied that “all the fruits of [the colonists’] labour and industry may be taken from [them] whenever an avaricious governor and a rapacious council may incline to demand them,” as future chief justice John Jay put it in 1775. After all, they reasoned as they took up arms against their king, government exists to protect “certain inherent rights, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety,” as George Mason summed up Lockean orthodoxy in Virginia’s Bill of Rights. Therefore, when a government invades rather than safeguards property through taxation without consent, it cancels its own legitimacy.
Yeah, that’s why Myron gets to wear the big sideburns:
Read the rest here.