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updated 7/26/2004 10:33:31 AM ET 2004-07-26T14:33:31
COMMENTARY

It is somehow appropriate that the Fleet Center, where the National Democratic Convention begins Monday, looks out over Boston Harbor,  where more than two centuries ago tea was dumped off a ship and into the roiling waters of revolt against a government that had lost touch with its people.

Now, as Democrats gather from around the nation to anoint John Kerry their nominee for president, the moment is ripe to once again put the tea in the harbor. This time, however, the revolt is not against a distant monarch, but rather a money soaked political system that has ill served our nation.

If I was John Kerry’s campaign manager for five minutes (far-fetched as this may seem) I would be urging him to use his nomination acceptance speech to spark a new Boston Tea Party.

“Today as I accept this nomination, I am going to do something that someone should have done a long, long time ago,” he might declare. “Today I am placing the future of my campaign entirely in the hands of the American people. I will not accept taxpayer money or public funds for my campaign – and I will not accept any contribution over $250 in this General Election.

Tomorrow I was to receive $75,000,000 from the Federal Government to fund my campaign – instead with this announcement I will start with nothing.  You will fund this campaign or it will not be funded – the American people will carry this candidacy or my candidacy will fail.  It is in your hands now.”

When the gasps of disbelief die down, Kerry could continue:

“No one man or woman can change the politics of money in Washington by themselves, but what I can do is give you the opportunity to change it together for ourselves and our nation. And if you join this cause you will not only change Presidents, you will change a broken political system that has failed us – and restore the spirit of those who threw tea in Boston Harbor over 200 years ago and launched a great nation founded on the simple notion of government by the people.”

Opt out of public funding John! Throw the Tea in the Harbor!

Give the American people one chance to change this system for ourselves and watch what happens.

You know, they say I am crazy … and maybe I am. But this is America. A guy can dream … and hope.

Joe Trippi is an MSNBC contributor and part of Chris Matthews' all-star panel on . He's also a blogger on Hardball's new weblog, and author of "The Revolution Will Not be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything."

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