Tea Party Movement
In 2009, a series of locally and nationally coordinated movements led to what is now known as the Tea Party in the US. As a populist, libertarian and conservative movement, the tea party claims to represent the average hard-working American, fatigued by the current presidency and economic status of the nation. Major concerns voiced by the movement include the following:
- Lowering taxes
- Reducing the size of government
- Reducing the national debt
- Adhering to a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution
In consideration of the demographics, viewpoints and History of the Tea Party movement, many critics hold the opinion that the Tea Partiers are just a breed of uber-Conservatives, using the movement as a marketing tool in their primary goal of ensuring that President Obama is a one-term president. According to New York Times contributor Paul Krugman, "the tea parties don't represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They're AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events" The key role of FreedomWorks, for example, can be pointed to as representing the wealthiest people in America versus the greater middle class. MSNBC reporter Rachel Maddow has repeatedly linked Tea Party protests to organizations, such as FreedomWorks, that are merely lobbying to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, further bolstering Krugman's point.
While the majority of Tea Party members show Republican favoritism, not all Republicans can be represented as Tea Party members similarly. With much controversy, it's not clear whether the party will hurt or help the Republican party in the future. The question now is whether the party will continue to last after the results of the next presidential election since its sole development has been in response to a trend of resentment of policies ensued under the Obama administration. Perhaps, like the Boston Tea Party, this too will eventually calm and pass.
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