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Stop Using the Boston Tea Party to Justify Violence in Modern America

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Some pundits are comparing modern riots to the Boston Tea Party, but this is deeply misguided. Jarrett Stepman writes:

The Constitution and the governing system created by the founding generation following the Revolution was designed to ensure that American citizens did not have to suffer arbitrary government. We, unlike the colonists of the 1770s, would have the chance to petition authorities, conduct elections, and seek representation in government.

It’s worth noting that when groups of Americans organized militias to oppose taxes in the 1790s and threatened to topple local authorities in Pennsylvania, President George Washington personally led a military force to crush it.

Violent resistance to duly passed laws, whether good or not, would be met with force.

Laws may not change and—as the world is not perfect—injustices will still occur under our system, but we have the tools to appeal to ballots over bullets that the colonists didn’t. This is the cornerstone of liberty and self-government.

Associating the violent destruction of a police station and wanton looting of businesses this past week with the Boston Tea Party is an abuse of history. It makes a mockery of our constitutional, free government.

[Jarrett Stepman, “Stop Using the Boston Tea Party to Justify Violence in Modern America,” The Daily Signal, June 3]

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