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Post details: Tea Party

Tea Party

Ron Paul's supporters are a creative bunch.

While most campaigns spread their fund-raisers evenly over time, the Paulinators (or Paulites) chose to dump most of their hard earned dough on days associated with events they felt had a great symbolic value. Exploding in one day, these Money Bombs became their fund-raising trademark. Other candidates tried to emulate them, but their grassroots could not provide the same level of self-organization. Equivalent to ideological Theme Parks, they forever changed the landscape of the American electoral politics.

The first Money Bomb commemorated the movie "V for Vendetta" which itself was loosely based on exploits of Britain's rebel Guy Fawkes. In the movie an anonymous hero fights against a deeply inept government and at the end succeeds in blowing up the symbol of the corrupt ruling class - the Houses of Parliament. The surprisingly successful November 5th drive brought 4.2M to Ron Paul's coffers.

Out of the many suggestions for the second money bomb, the Boston Tea Party emerged victorious, because it highlighted the insidiousness of taxing people through inflation. War with Iraq is a good example. Rather than transparently increasing the taxes to pay for the military expenses, the administration chose to nominally decrease the taxes, yet the massive debt which it incurred crippled the dollar so much that it lost half of its value against Euro. The lost value of the weakened currency is a form of a tax which we all pay, whether we wanted it or not. That was the central theme of the Tea Party, which at the end raised 6M dollars - the world record for a one day fund-raising effort among all the candidates.

The DC branch of Ron Paul MeetUps chose Garrett's Restaurant and Railroad Tavern in Georgetown for its Tea Party festivities. The geographical location prevented the participants from dumping tea in the Boston Harbor so they dumped at least symbolic pork packages from benches onto the floor to symbolize the displeasure with the increasingly inefficient and overgrown government.

People appreciate when they are treated like adults. They don't like to be told which drugs are good (tobacco, alcohol) and which are bad (marijuana, crack), or which military regimes to support (Pakistan) and which to overthrow (Iraq). And as more and more tax money are disappearing in the giant maw of this administration - whether by greed or by incompetence, more and more tax payers are getting tired of bankrolling the foreign policy extravaganzas. And that's pretty much what was on people's minds as they sat on the pub's floor and wrapped their little mock packages of disposable pork.

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