Why the Tea Party is doomed

28May10

Much has been made of the Tea Party in the past year. On one hand, we have the childish demonizations and name calling stemming from the mainstream media. On the other, we see a feverish, unrelenting support for the movement in many corners of the blogging community. Sadly, I have yet to hear from a single voice from either spectrum or anywhere in between that has analyzed the Tea Party and their inner workings with any degree of objectivity.

From the perspective of the mainstream media, Tea Partiers (or teabaggers, as their sensationalist, infotainment-driven agenda side would say) are portrayed as uneducated backwater racists who may or may not inbreed. These criticisms are highly fallacious and are little more than petty ad hominem attacks. Criticisms that stem from the fear that movements can form independent of their influence.

While the Tea Party appears to be something that formed from the ground up, they are a seed without direction. I will concede that a few general ideals propel the movement, but their goals defined by these ideals beyond anti-incumbency are, at best, incredibly vague.

Your average Tea Partier will say that the movement is driven by anti-deficit, fiscal conservatism, and small government ideals. This is all fine and well if we accept this at face value. However, when you dissect what the members of the Party stand for, these driving factors are a direct contradiction when put up against what they support.

What contradicts the three ideals listed above is the majority support within the movement of the US starting wars abroad. This creates huge deficits and inflates the budget beyond any level that could be considered reasonable. Without a proper declaration, these wars are illegal, setting the precedent that the government is big enough to be above the rule of law. How the pro-war stance has become the conservative stance is beyond me.

No matter how big these pitfalls are, they pale in comparison when you think of who the Party associates with them. Perhaps the most prominent Tea Party supporter is Sarah Palin, who is essentially the de facto spokesperson for the movement. Another “conservative” who seems to think that the ideology began and ended with Ronald Reagan. Tea Partiers seem to be ignorant of the fact that Palin’s involvement will most likely end up undermining their efforts more than any amount of contradiction or lack of clearly defined goals could. Her Israel-first, wealth distributionist policies, among other things, will implode the Party’s fragile, self-perceived core values. Above all, she has shown herself to be thin-skinned and incapable of leadership.

This video is an excellent example of the disillusionment that has plagued the Party from the onset:

The man in the video is absolutely right on all points. Most of all, extreme measures must be taken to bring about any degree of true change. Tea Partiers are a little too comfortable with their lives to sacrifice anything for what they believe in.

The problem here is that they don’t know what they believe in. Thus, they see no reason to sacrifice.

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2 Responses to “Why the Tea Party is doomed”

  1. I couldn’t agree more, although to say they are doomed would be to say they were ever truly organized and united. In my opinion, they have always been just a bunch of pissed off people. They have a notion of the problem, but have no real solution. They have a feeling that things are not quite right, but lack the ability to develop a consistent set of principles and goals.

    This video really opened my eyes to the view that they, just like most everyone else politically, are completely lacking open minds and are charged by emotion, not reason. It’s somewhat sad.

    Palin absolutely discredits their efforts. The opportunity for a true leader is to take this emotion and channel it to something constructive, to provide the framework and agenda to create a true movement out of this enraged mob.

  2. 2 vomlox

    Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. Still learning the system so that things are a little more streamlined.

    A lack of leadership and continuity is all it really comes down to. Populist movements such as the Tea Party cannot last for long because of this. I guess this is an example of the public’s short attention span. While Palin brought some initial excitement to the McCain campaign back in ’08, she ultimately imploded it through her own transgressions. History seems to be repeating itself in an eerily similar way.


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