Intolerable Acts

I applaud the efforts of concerned citizens who are demonstrating their
opposition to the massive spending spree occurring in Washington. However,
I think the Tea Party protests are an ineffective display of their
dissatisfaction. At the original tea party in December 1773, three
shiploads of tea (worth $1.87M in 2007 dollars) were dumped into Boston
harbor. The incident was so shocking to the British, they closed Boston
harbor and Parliament passed a series of punitive measures against the
colonies known as the “Intolerable Acts”. Those acts were one of the
precipitating events of the Revolutionary War.
If outraged American citizens want to effectively demonstrate their anger at
this latest round of “Intolerable Acts”, they need to execute an event of
equal magnitude to the original Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty who
perpetrated the event knew they were conducting a criminal act. They were
prepared to accept the consequences of their actions. Let me be clear; I am
not recommended that people break the law or take to the streets in
rebellion. However, there are times when acts of non-violent civil
disobedience are the only way to get the government to address your
concerns. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela all
effectively used non-violent resistance to effect changes in policies of
their governments. They willingly faced physical abuse, imprisonment, and
death in order to hold to their principles and stand against injustice.
Dumping a bag of Earl Grey into Lake Michigan – while satisfying – will not
get the attention of Washington. I’m not clever enough to think of an event
of appropriate magnitude; but I know it must be something that will spark
the outrage of the Liberals in Washington. The perpetrators of this event
must be prepared to accept the consequences of their actions. They must be
prepared to endure the suffering that would surely follow in order to
advance the cause of Liberty.
Four months after the Intolerable Acts were passed, the colonies formed the
First Continental Congress. Less than two years later, they would pass a
resolution to proclaim independence from British rule. Writing to Abigail
on that decision, John Adams said, “I am well aware of the toil and blood
and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support
and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of
ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all
the means. And that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even
although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.”