Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our Tricorn Hat-Rocking Right: Now Ruining Vacations

This was inevitable, probably. Once you get enough people to believe that George Washington was somehow a megachurch-y libertarian with a staunch opposition to any taxation at all, the next step is clear -- book a vacation, and just totally ruin things for everybody else.

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.

Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: "Only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense." The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded thoughtfully. Afterward, he said this was his fifth visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

Salem County stand up! Okay, now please sit back down. You're terrible. Please sit.

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