Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tapping Sam: At 288, Adams’s Ideas Are Still Brewing

Samuel Adams’s political genius understood that to remain free, he and his fellow colonists had to band together around an issue (seemingly trivial–Tea), and build a philosophical common understanding about where and how that freedom had to be defended. He was the first to understand the connection between taxation and core human liberties, and framed the issue in a way that allowed an American consciousness to emerge that was strong enough to fight the most powerful empire in the world. Samuel Adams had three qualities that are reflected in the Tea Partiers of the twenty-first century. He recognized the early signs of tyranny, he took responsibility for the fight that would come, and he believed in the capability and the willingness of his fellow colonists to reach that same understanding. We are all familiar with that culminating act of civil disobedience, the Boston Tea Party, but the consolidation of foment into the Sons of Liberty and the hundreds of impassioned letters he penned to all parts of the colonies urging, pleading, reasoning, and cajoling others to join the fight that allowed the first thoughts of “independence” to ever be considered with any seriousness...more

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