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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

'Tea party’ not revolutionary

Last Wednesday, thousands of people flowed up State street and assembled near the state capitol, some sporting various costumes, including pigs, minutemen and corporate CEOs. However, it wasn't for the annual Freakfest celebration. Instead, the crowd was there to support the ""Tea Party,"" a nationwide event aimed at protesting higher taxes at the state and national level. Wisconsin's ""Tea Party"" was aimed specifically at Gov. Jim Doyle and other Democrats' handling of spending and tax hikes. 


The event produced an impressive turnout, with event organizers estimating the total attendance at around 5,000 people, and attendees traveled as far as Milwaukee to take part in the protest. The event was arranged by a variety of groups, including the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity. 


With the Republican Party losing representation in both the state government and at the national level, the protest was a powerful statement from the conservative-heavy crowd. Although conservatives are not normally known for state and local-level protests and rallies of this nature, the event was a welcome surprise from a party that prefers to do its talking through policy, not parlor tricks. The ""Tea Party"" may not have been the most promising event in terms of unifying the two parties, but at least conservatives are taking the necessary means to be heard, even if they've lost majority at various levels of public office. 


However, one aspect seemed to be absent from the swell of protesting and criticism at the capitol: viable alternatives. The various speakers, signs and attendees all cited their various issues with the taxation and its ramifications, but little was said about how to handle budget shortfalls in different ways or better methods of fiscal responsibility. At times, the crowd and speakers delved too far into social conservative ideology and not enough into how to better tackle issues of budget deficits and taxation. 


Although the event sported the clever moniker and connection to the American Revolution's Boston Tea Party, Wednesday's ""Tea Party"" whiffed on delivering the same rhetoric. Bostonians demanded ""No taxation without representation,"" but Wednesday's crowd only asked for the latter. Instead of basing their argument around emotional and revolutionary undertones, conservative leaders should organize behind clear alternatives and proactive solutions.

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