Image by John Beagle
In the last few decades there’s been no political movement comparable to the Tea Parties. The Tea Party Movement is exceptional because it’s totally want and grassroots to alter American politics from the bottom up. The Democratic leaders and the mainstream media misunderstand and underestimate the movement. They’ve labeled it a movement of extreme right-wing fanatics that are upset at having a black President, or do not need to pay taxes, or “cling to firearms and faith”. They’re incorrect. Actually, the Tea Party Movement is a mainstream “awakening” that’s been long overdue and will not whither and die within a couple years as some call.
The Tea Party groups are a loose and decentralized coalition of libertarians, conservatives, disenchanted independents and moderate democrats. Tea Partiers aren’t a targeted group of ideologues but a varied set of standard groups that are dismay at the course of the state. It started with the Stimulation Package that was wasteful and was amplified by taxes developed into cap’n’trade and health care reform. Tea Partiers are upset at the corruption and total lack of transparency in the Democratic Congress and the Obama administration.
The largest problems for Tea Partiers are excessive government spending, the market and the growth of government power in the last two years. Some tea party groups have differing precedence but these concerns are shared by almost all tea party groups or may have additional problems of concern. Tea Partiers also share three core ideals: (1) small government/individual liberty; (2) financial duty; and (3) free markets. They are alarmed at the dramatic increase in national power and firmly support restricting the power of the federal government. Tea Partiers are the generational theft occurring, and outraged at the huge budget deficits, the increase of the national debt. Lastly, they’re powerful proponents of economic freedom and believe firmly that the Democratic Congress and President Obama are dismantling are free market economy in favor of a centralized, socialist economy.
Another significant component of the movement is their disposition toward partisan politics. Tea Partiers have expressed their frustration and displeasure with Democrats in addition to the Republicans. Generally speaking, Tea Partiers are anti-organization and need sweeping changes inside their representatives. They’re highly suspect of the sway of the national party leaders in local elections and career politicians. Consequently, they’ve rejected the organization or conventional nominees in quite a few primaries, choosing activist or more separate nominees.
The Tea Party Movement isn’t all-white, all-conservative, violent or racist. These accusations are thrown out without any evidence. Surveys have found that supporters of the Tea Party Movement are mostly mainstream when it comes to demographics. About 49% of Tea Party supporters are Republican while a surprising 43% are independents. They come from every socio-economic class, age group, and ethnic group. Just 79% of Tea Party supporters are white which is comparable to the percent of whites in the general public. Despite the despicable accusations of elitist and Democrats media characters, Tea Partiers are representative of the American people in nearly every manner.
Another baseless accusation is that Tea Partiers are violent gun-touting maniacs. The movement doesn’t advocate the violent overthrow of the authorities. At virtually every demonstration and protest, Tea Partiers have innumerable signs reading “recall in November”. Tea Partiers need change through elections not gunfire. Like any other movement, there are people that are violent and unhinged, but the focus on this incredibly little sect of the media shows their lack of ethics and liberal bias. In fact, the Tea Party Movement is one of the most peaceful large scale political demonstrations in recent memory.
The aim of the Tea Party Movement would be to shift the Republican Party from within. The Tea Parties have flexed their muscle in several primary elections. In Illinois, the son of former Speaker Dennis Hastert was conquered by a lesser-known Tea Party nominee named Randy Hultgren. In Kentucky Senate primaries and the Nevada the Republican establishment firmly supported Tray Grayson and Sue Lowden. Nevertheless, their close connections with the party leaders led to their ultimate defeat and feeling to lesser known nominees Rand Paul and Sharron Angle.
The Tea Party Movement has also led to the removal of incumbent Republicans including Sen. Arlen Specter, who was induced to change parties. Other conquered incumbents contain Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina and Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah. The primaries of the previous few months certainly show the Tea Party Movement has had several achievements getting their own nominees on the ballot in November and is quite powerful within the Republican Party. To put it differently, the party is successfully shifting.
Restore America’s Heritage and the Tea Party Movement have a lot in common when it comes to political orientation. The Tea Party firmly supports three of RAL’s five principles (small government, fiscal responsibility, free markets). The Tea Party has made an extremely strong attempt to become more active and better educated in the conventional political process. RAL wants to do the same, raising capital to support efforts, supplying supporters with advice, and assessing nominees using an unique and particular standards. Both need to support candidates with real world experience and also are critical of career politicians.
The Tea Party Movement is a favorable development in American politics and RAL firmly supports their actions. If the Tea Party Movement is successful in the Midterm elections, it’s going to show that it’s the individuals that hold the power and that career politicians can be held responsible. It’d also show that a powerful anti-establishment and anti-government movement can show itself serenely through legitimate political action, not bullying or violence and a huge grassroots effort. It will likewise strike a blow to cynics who believe that Washington changes. RAL expects the Tea Party Movement will triumph in its attempts to bring new direction to the White House in 2012 and to Congress in 2010.