Sentinel Weekly Call Notes

CNN Gets the Boston Tea Party Wrong

When riots and looting broke out following the death of George Floyd, CNN anchor Don Lemon compared them to the Boston Tea Party. This is a serious misconstruing of a pivotal moment in America’s founding history.

First, we should understand the backstory to the Boston Tea Party. While the British won the French and Indian War (or Seven Years War) against the French, it left the country in near bankruptcy. Britain then began to raise taxes in the American colonies to pay for its debts. It first imposed the Stamp Act of 1765, which required that every document had to pay a tax. Then, the Townshend Acts, which imposed duties (taxes) on a number of imported goods, including tea. In response, many started to boycott British tea, and smuggle in Dutch tea.

What came next was the Tea Act in 1773. This was not actually a new tax on tea. Rather, the British East India Company had bought more tea from China than it could sell, and was going bankrupt. The Tea Act created an effective monopoly on selling to the colonies for the British East India Company. When ships arrived carrying tea, however, colonists voted to refuse to pay the tax or allow the tea to be unloaded. When Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the ships to return to England until the colonists paid the taxes — regardless of whether they purchased the tea or not — the Sons of Liberty sneaked onto the ships disguised as Indians and threw the tea overboard.

A few things are worth noting about the Boston Tea Party:

  1. No one took tea home, and no one obtained any direct financial benefit.
  2. There was no wholesale destruction of private property. The order was given that no harm was to be done to any person or property other than the tea (the ships were actually owned by Americans). One story exists that a padlock was broken, but someone returned later to replace it.
  3. They were not trying to tear down a lawful system. As British citizens, their rights to representation in government were being violated. The Boston Tea Party was a reaction to the Crown’s failure to right this wrong.

The Left is intent on tearing down our history and equating their lawless actions with the founding of our country. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we must fight back with the truth about our founders and defend the principles upon which our country began.

Take Action: Write a Letter to the Editor

We are continuing to urge mayors and governors to 1) quell the violence, 2) restore law and order, and 3) support the police. TAKE ACTION: This week, consider writing a letter to the editor urging your community leaders to take leadership on these three things. Here are some points you can make:

Quell the violence. Riots, looting and destroying American neighborhoods must not be tolerated. There are two different movements erupting on the streets of America’s cities:

  1. Peaceful calls for social change, and
  2. Violent, destructive anarchy.

No American community, minority or otherwise, is well-served by the destruction, theft, and poverty created by rioting and looting. We must protect American lives and livelihoods.

Restore law and order. We must protect the right to peacefully assemble while securing law and order. Americans who recognize instances where the law is not being upheld equally for any American, have the Constitutional right to peaceably provide awareness and work to change society. Change occurs through multiple avenues: developing personal relationships with others, supporting families, strengthening our civic communities, and at times, via legal reforms made through our elected representatives.

Support the police. The fact is that American communities are overwhelmingly safer with police than without police. Defunding, dismantling, or dissolving our police force is not the answer. Police officers, like military personnel or other first responders, deserve our support and respect. One of the main reasons people from all over the world flock to America’s shores is because we live under the rule of law. Well-trained, properly funded police forces who follow the rules are necessary to uphold the rule of law and protect all of us.

>> Check out Heritage Action’s tip sheet for best letter to the editor practices! Regional coordinators also can share local tips for your area, as well. Find yours here.

Upcoming Legislation

The House and Senate are currently in recess. However, there are two pieces of legislation developing that you can expect to hear more details and action items on in the coming weeks.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): This legislation contains all the funding for the Department of Defense and our nation’s military operations. It has moved through the committee process, and will soon be coming to the House and Senate floors. It is expected that in the House, Democrats will try to add amendments to advance a radical leftist social agenda. Our military was designed to protect our nation from its enemies. It should not be held hostage to liberal demands.

Fifth Coronavirus Bill: While the text has not been written yet, it is expected that by the end of July, there will be a fifth bill to respond to coronavirus. Heritage Action and Sentinels have been laying out for members of Congress (if and when there is a bill) how to approach any future legislation. Here is a quick review of the four things we’ve been working on:

  1. No state and local bailouts. Any bill should not include bailouts -- often referred to as “unrestricted aid” -- for state and local governments. We should not bail out states, we should reopen them. Giving cash to states who have not managed their budgets well is utterly unfair to states like Wisconsin who have fought to make good fiscal choices.
  2. $600 unemployment insurance (UI) benefit. It’s been shown that the $600 additional UI benefit passed in previous coronavirus legislation discourages employees from returning to work, as they can earn more on unemployment. This is having a damaging effect on the workforce and economic recovery. Congress should let this harmful program expire on July 31st.
  3. Surprise Billing. This has required some defense as well as offense! We’ve long been opposing bad surprising billing legislation. The good news is that it appears the White House has settled on a proposal that looks very similar to what The Heritage Foundation has proposed.
  4. Liability Insurance Reform. To help America’s economic recovery, Congress should modify existing liability statutes to help limit frivolous coronavirus lawsuits against businesses. These lawsuits can further cripple businesses who are already struggling to bounce back from shutdowns.

The work Sentinels have been doing over the past months has been incredibly important for laying the groundwork as we head into the upcoming weeks. We will keep Sentinels posted on how they can continue to engage with their member of Congress as things develop.

Janae Stracke
Grassroots Director
Heritage Action

Heritage Action for America | 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Suite 400 | Washington, D.C. 20002

From Melody Clarke, HAFA

I hope you had a restful and patriotic Independence Day holiday! These are challenging times, but as a Heritage Action Sentinel we hope you are prepared to move forward with relentless optimism. We have been educating our Sentinels on the tactics of the left since we were founded and that knowledge gives us the foundation we need for a time like this.  Grab a cold iced tea and take a few moments to review the important information below, I'll be standing by for any questions or to offer more assistance!

I get emails from Sentinels every day asking what they can do to impact the current situation. This email includes a few videos and articles with those answers.  Please enjoy these Sentinel Summit speeches that gave us so much inspiration previously and still apply today! We have added many new Sentinels in the last few years who have not yet attended a Sentinel Summit, plus our long-time Sentinels will probably appreciate seeing them again. 🙂 

This opening speech by Jessica Anderson, now Executive Director at Heritage Action, from our 2016 Sentinel Summit is as relevant today as it was then. In this speech she lays out the road map for the action we can take right now in our family and community:

Jessica Anderson: "Leadership in Defense of Conservative Principles" 

I mentioned 'relentless optimism' - this comes from a speech by Russ Vought at our 2014 Sentinel Summit. Russ was our Vice President at Heritage Action then, he is currently going through the confirmation process in the Senate to lead the Office of Management and Budget!  Here are his comments explaining why it is important to have leaders like you with relentless optimism:

Russ Vought: "Building Dedicated Leaders with Relentless Optimism"

BLM: Last week you received my email that included Mike Gonzalez’s op-ed unpacking how the agenda of Black Lives Matter organization is far different from the slogan. It is important to understand their real agenda! This is one of many radical organizations who seek to transform America from freedom following a marxist agenda.

This week I want to call your attention to another article by Heritage President Kay Coles James:

Heritage President Reveals the Truth About Black Lives Matter 
Our country is under attack from radical leftists. Mobs rampage through our streets, monuments are being destroyed, and the very law and order that ensures our communities’ peace and security is being undermined. In far too many instances, radical groups have hijacked peaceful protests to sow violence and division. One such radical group has infiltrated the mainstream, going relatively unrecognized for what it truly stands for. According to Heritage President Kay C. James, that group is the official Black Lives Matter organization. “One look at the BLM organization’s website shows that the idea of protecting black lives and seeking justice is merely a vehicle to advance a different, radical set of ideas. The organization is more dedicated to gaining political power and remaking America according to Marxist ideology,” James writes in her latest op-ed. Read James’ full op-ed to find out exactly what the BLM organization stands for and what America must do to stop its assault on our values.

Stop the riots in your town: Jane, as a Sentinel you understand why it is important to contact your local town council, mayor and governor to immediately take the necessary steps to quell the violence, restore law and order, and support the police. You can do this through direct phone calls, but letters to the editor and social media will be seen and appreciated by so many more people in your local community! This Daily Signal piece speaks to the unAmerican actions of the left:

The Mob Comes for America

-- And finally, please share this important message with your circles. We do not need more bailouts, we need to reopen our cities and states!

Don't Bail Out Cities. Reopen Them

I hope you find this message not only helpful, but inspirational as well.  Please let me know if you need more information or help with a letter to the editor or social media.



Melody Himel Clarke

(202) 716-9738

Senior Regional Coordinator

Follow us on Twitter: @Heritage_Action and me, @TheRightMelody.