Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tea Partying  Party

America’s Tea Party is not representative of American society. Even the media had little facts about its demographics and political inclination until recently. Williamson, Skocpol, and Coggin (2011) succinctly describe the Tea Party movement as a new embodiment of persisting filaments of U.S. conservatism. Most supporters of the Tea Party have been described as being conservative, White, middle class, and typically belonging to the elderly citizen category. The Tea Party movement is often referred to as a social movement that is out there to challenge government social operations like universal health insurance, job security, and savings.

Adherents of the Tea Party movement have no concrete political agenda and they have little to celebrate since their party is not a full party but a coalition that is there is to advance its list of items. The people responsible for supporting and financing the Tea Party are wealthier than the general population and less susceptible to losing status. Tea Party supporters are generally more conservative than many conservative Republicans. Statistically, according to Williamson, Skocpol, and Coggin (2011), looking at the level of support for the Tea Party, research has shown that 70-75 of supporters are over the age of 45; 80-90% is categorized as White; and 55 to 60 percent constituting men.

Tea Party members lack centralized leadership, are nebulous or unstructured, and are often led by political amateurs. According to Williamson, Skocpol, and Coggin (2011), the Tea Party restructured after the humiliating 2008 election by rising up to meet their expectations in the small town of Brockton, in Massachusetts. In opposition to government hardheadedness, Tea Partiers converged in drives in Stockton when President Obama signed into law into what became known as the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act. Tea Partiers have been using derogatory language to ridicule Obama’s economic agenda. ‘Porkulus’, a term resurrected by Tea Partiers to show significant opposition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as stimulus, has become the party’s rallying cry (Williamson, Skocpol, & Coggin, 2011). The Tea Party is driven by partisan politics and that there is little evidence to show that it is in the forefront of changing American living conditions for the better.


Williamson, V., Skocpol, P. & Coggin, J. (2011). The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.  Perspectives on Politics, Volume 9, No. 1.

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