The tea party


People across the United States are switching on and tuning in to the spirit of their founding fathers. Tired of government ineptitude, many are looking to overturn the status quo. Enter stage right: the tea party movement.

The movement is a modern political phenomenon and will likely not be easily swept away until its message has been heard, no matter the actions of the donkeys and elephants. As David Brooks writes in the New York Times:

According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent of Americans have a positive view of the tea party movement. Only 35 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Democrats and only 28 percent have a positive view of the Republican Party.

And perhaps even more pertinently:

The movement is especially popular among independents. The Rasmussen organization asked independent voters whom they would support in a generic election between a Democrat, a Republican and a tea party candidate. The tea party candidate won, with 33 percent of independents. Undecided came in second with 30 percent. The Democrats came in third with 25 percent and the Republicans fourth with 12 percent.

For David Brooks though, the desire for a reduction in government is connected to a general ‘sour mood’ across the country. For Brooks, this is a widespread negative reaction to the beliefs of the ‘educated class’ (think global warming, gun control etc.). As well as being a rather patronizing thesis, I think Mr Brooks really misses the point and spirit of the movement. These people are not only reacting against 'elite' culture and control, but are also inspired by the alternative: the restoration of their liberty, the principles of their Constitution.

To claim, as Mr Brooks does, that the tea party movement is ‘defined by what they are against’ is unfair. Firstly, It should be taken as a given that any man, woman or child with an ounce of freedom running through their veins is against a whole lot that the government is doing in the United States. But more importantly, they are clearly best defined by what they are for, not against, namely life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Read Andrew Ian Dodge here to find out more.