As some on the left continue to demonize the Tea Party movement as nothing more than a racial backlash to Obama’s presidency, and with the right’s frantic quest to control its direction, it can be difficult to describe the movement.
I have always contended that the Tea Party is not (and has never been) a homogeneous group of individuals. But that rather it was a group of politically-minded people who reviewed the shocking course the government took in response to the Great Recession and synthesized the need to cut back and reform. However, such a laudable position comes under fire from the left – which refuses to move past the contention that the movement itself is falsified rage perpetuated by GOP shadow financiers. Allow us to take a look at the Tea Party.
Firstly, those associating themselves with the Tea Party are not made primarily of a single racial group, but are in fact fairly mainstream in terms of demographics. Secondly, and probably most importantly, their top concerns are with the size, role, and cost of government, not the race of the president. Contrastingly, more Americans view the Tea Party’s concerns and positions on other top issues as more in line with their thinking than the President’s, and believe it has a better understanding of the issues than Congress. All of which isn’t so surprising considering most Americans see themselves as overtaxed and in need of smaller, less expansionist government.
The movement has already begun to change the political landscape. It may or may not have boosted calls for a third party but has certainly shaken things up within the GOP. Most GOP voters now disapprove of the Republican Party but heavily favor the Tea Party, a good sign for the country, but possibly a bad sign for Republicans if they do not adopt the movement’s attitude. As alluded to above, the left seems to be caught up on race, accusing the movement of being outright racist. Other than far-fetched signage and other rare exchanges of nasty words caught on camera, I’m really not sure where they come up with such a charge other than from the bottom of the barrel of desperation.
At the very least, the movement has gotten more people involved in the political process: a boon all sides could agree with. While what it represents can at times be hazy, what remains clear is the mood of the public against statist solutions to our decade’s woes. It’s high time the political elite of both old and tired parties realize it.