It's easy to say the modern teabaggers are assholes. The modern teabaggers are assholes. See? We didn't even break a sweat.
But as it turns out, these latest teabaggers are simply carrying on a longstanding tradition of proud, vaguely patriotic douchebaggery that they learned from the OG's of asshole behavior; the guys who tossed some tea into a harbor a couple hundred years ago.
No, we're not saying we wish the British had won the war or that we wish America had never been born. We're just saying that American history glosses over a lot of true dick behavior. After all, consider that...
5Great Britain Had No Idea The Colonists Were Unhappy
Benjamin Franklin had been chosen by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature to represent the colonies before the crown. If the colonies were pissed, or sick of paying unfair taxes (or as was more often the case, not paying them), it was Franklin's job to let the crown know.
Unfortunately, Ben really loved the crown. Right before the revolution, he had been trying, unsuccessfully, to convince the king to take back Pennsylvania from the Penn family, and put it under royal control.
When the issue of the Stamp Act first came up, even though the colonists were furious, Ben Franklin was all about it, and he told Great Britain as much. Hell, he even gave a friend of his the cushy job collecting the new taxes.
Because he was fucking clueless about the people he was representing and spent most of his time in Britain. When colonists eventually showed up at his house rioting, he must have been just shocked that they were so angry about the Stamp Act. Or, he would have been shocked, but people were rioting at his house and threatening to hang him, so he kind of had some other stuff to deal with.
When you think about it, Ben Franklin was a terrible choice for Voice of the People. The dude managed to be a rich, successful, self-made, internationally jet-setting playboy in the 18th goddamn century, for fuck's sake. John Q. Public he was not. Of course he didn't mind the Stamp Act; if it didn't at all impede his ability to fuck princesses on hot air balloons, (or whatever the 18th Century analogue to the mile high club was), why should he care? Franklin's hypothetical balloon-humping to one side, the point is that Great Britain was blissfully unaware on the other side of the ocean while the colonists steamed and let their rage build.
4The Colonists Were Living at home, Rent free, Without Following Any of the Rules
When we think of the original Tea Party Guys, we think of a bunch of decent, hardworking people who were treated unfairly and had every right to rebel against their oppressors. That's sort of a harder pill to swallow when it turns out the "oppressors" were more like "laid back goons," and the "opressees" were more like "whiney assholes." True, Great Britain did impose taxes on the colonies without representation, but according to Taxation in Colonial America, the British rarely bothered collecting them. Hardly anyone was paying the tax that the colonists were so pissed off about.
Smuggling mixed with some general bad leadership. London was an ocean away and there just wasn't an efficient way to manage an entire empire across seas. Not to mention the smuggling. Lord, the smuggling. The British taxes were only on trade, and it was just ridiculously easy to get away with simply not paying them. This was because the layout of the Virginia coast allowed merchants to sail past the authorities and just pull their boats right up to their customers. As a result, many merchants built their businesses on smuggling.
The British tried to put a stop to this, but how could they? Imagine if, instead of just losing a portion of your paycheck to taxes every month, you had to literally hand money over to an IRS agent who wouldn't chase you, didn't keep record of you and was incredibly easy to sidestep. Would you pay that guy?
Great Britain understood this inefficient system, but they also understood that they didn't really need the taxes they were asking for. So unofficially, it was decided that as long as the colonies were doing well, the British were just going to loosely enforce the trade laws, lest they risk accidentally starting a rebellion. This is the same discipline philosophy held by parents who think that the point of having children is so that you can finally be invited to high school parties.
When it eventually did become necessary to start collecting cash, the British were never able to successfully put and keep in place any taxes, ever again. Every time they tried, a group of colonists would throw the kind of shit fit that ends in some embarrassed step-dad having to buy a pony.
So why bother?