A tea party isn’t a tea party without any tea

By Ben Moriarty

On Wednesday I went to Boston for a job interview. The interview was at two in the afternoon, and I arrived in Boston shortly before one. I am neurotic about being late for things I care about, and I believe this is because I care about so little in general that I put a lot into the few things I do care about.

When I start to think, I start to worry. This is a problem for me, because I think all the time. So, instead of worrying for an hour, I walked to the Commons, sat on a bench a little bit away from Frog Pond since I nearly fell through the ice this past winter, and watched people go by me. I figured this would not make me think, and I could space out under the blue skies.

Earlier that day, there was a Tea Party in the Commons. No, not something that actually signified and meant something like the Boston Tea Party did on December 16, 1773. Nor was it the type of tea party where, as I found out from a flamboyant and cheerful man when I was venturing in Provincetown two years ago, an underground party where homosexuals met up and had tea, or something or another.

This was a real tea party. People had teabags in their faces while they hung off the brims of their hats, it had people waving their Gadsden flags, shouting about how the United States of America was going to hell, and rubbing each other’s red necks and backs. Surprisingly, there was a wide range of ages, peoples and sexes. Both sexes were present.

In fact, Sarah Palin was present. The man who sat next to me on the bench was very pleased by her presence at the rally. He was not pleased from the couple that walked in front of us. The woman verbally and physically attacked her boyfriend as they passed because he supposedly accused her of sleeping with the landlord, which, for all I know, may have been true. He also smoked all of her cigarettes. They continued walking past us, the bickering causing him to have enough and to take her phone, where then a childish altercation occurred.

I took my Lord’s name in vain at the sight. The guy sitting next to me said aloud, “See? Every day society keeps getting worse and worse. And it all starts down in Washington.” He apparently was talking to me. I asked him why that was.

“It was when we elected that Obama. I knew we made a mistake the moment he was being inducted and his two little daughters kept tugging on his pants saying they wanted to get out of there. I saw him smiling; he knew he pulled a fast one on us. He isn’t a real American.” I could see that an inch to the side of his head rested the golden dome of our Massachusetts State House. I said my Lord’s name in my head again. I am, after all, Catholic. That’s what Catholics do.

There was, of course, more. According to my new friend, if some of our founding fathers and Revolutionary War heroes were alive today, like Revere, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, they’d hang themselves. He didn’t like Ted Kennedy, that was for sure. He said Scott Brown was one of the only three people he trusted to be president, after Palin and Mitt Romney. He was glad Kennedy was gone. Whether that meant out of the Senate or out of life and into the palm of God, I can’t be sure.

But, he did like Ted’s brother John.

“When I was younger, I wasn’t so conservative. I was against Vietnam, and I liked JFK. But if JFK were around today, he’d be a conservative.” I can’t imagine many liberals would be happy to admit or hear that. “But it’s different now, with Iraq. We can’t let them rob us blind with their prices on oil.”

“That’s the thing about Palin, she wants us to use our resources here. If we drill for oil, we won’t have to rely on anyone else. We can support ourselves.”

And that was that. It was about support, about self-reliance, about keeping to yourself, and about keeping the government out of your nose, sometimes, that is. “If people fall through the cracks of society, there should be a safety net, but people shouldn’t be allowed to stay there and just leach off our government’s funds.”

He had a point. And, despite being in the heart of Boston, being blocks away from the Financial District, blocks away from Fenway Park, a walk away from some of the best colleges in the country, I felt like I was in the heart of Dixie. Here they were, this grassroots movement, filling the Common with thousands and thousands of people, most of whom think we are Socialist country now.

And I noticed that despite how crazy these people are they have some good points. “Those bigwig politicians who went to Harvard and Yale think they know everything – and they might know everything. But they don’t know some stuff.”

Well, if that isn’t the damndest and truest thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. I don’t see the difference between the Tea Party people and most Democrats and Republicans. They all think they know what’s going on and what they’re talking about.

“God bless you, good luck at your interview.” A lot of them might be off the deep end, but at least they aren’t snobby.

Ben Moriarty is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]