Unsatisfied with being belligerent at town hall meetings and creating racist signs, Tea Party activists are swarming on Williamsburg, Virginia this summer to ruin educational family vacations by yelling and asking costumed reenactors how to overthrow the government. Ugh.
There's always a guy on a guided tour who's wearing a fanny pack and knee high socks, asking really stupid questions and embarrassing the rest of his family, right? Now add some loud, uninformed right wing zealotry, and you've got Colonial Williamsburg Summer 2010! The Washington Post went to Williamsburg and described the scene there these days, as Tea Party activists take in the sights and look to meet the Founding Fathers in person:
They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.
"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse.
Yes, man wearing a wig and dressed up as George Washington, do tell us! The Tea Partiers travel to Williamsburg seeking answers from actors, as opposed to, say, checking out a book from the library. Fair enough. Some Tea Partiers, like Bob Rohrbacher, who was inspired by none other than Glenn Beck to visit Williamsburg, think the members of our big bad government should "all should come here and listen. They've forgotten about America." But the Tea Partiers themselves don't always hear what they want to hear:
Sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.
When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" — a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.
When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator."
[Image via Getty]