Musings

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tea Party Demise

Townhall Magazine is carrying a query: "Is the Tea Party dead?" They ask people to vote on it. This is widely out of reality since there was no "real" Tea Party. Firstly, it was never a "Party." It had no officers, no hierarchy, no attempts for voting for officers, no command structure, no official literature, no official money bundlers (though some did try), no art work as an emblem of the party, and, very few that attended the rallies thought of themselves as forerunners of a third party. Then what was it?

For the most part it was best defined as a flash mob. The flash mob gets out the information that there is to be a "rally" at such-and-such a place at a certain time and people interested show up. Of all the people that I know that attended a Tea Party rally that is what happened to them.

What the Tea Party did have was a message: Are you against higher taxes? Are you for smaller government? Are you against a government takeover of all medical services? Are you distressed with non-enforcement of our boarders? Are you against government bailouts? Are you against the entrenched political class? Do you accept high unemployment? And a few others that I cannot bring to mind at this time. People who attended the rallies were self sorting, wanted more information, and wanted to be a part of the movement. They also wanted to let others know how many people felt just as they do.

It was never about the Republican Party, though many Republicans did attend. It was never about white people, though most were white there was diversity in the crowds, as well as gender diversity. All attendees believed that this Country was going in the wrong direction, politicians were not listening, the debt condition was a disaster, and this country needed to be turned around. Like minded people were associating with those who thought like them.

The Tea Parties did accomplish some things: It got some people more interested in local politics, they questioned their representatives more closely, for some, they even succeeded in replacing their representatives. The interest in politics was kindled and more now paid focused attention to what was happening in their districts. Some politicians associated themselves with the Tea Party and were rewarded with support, and sometimes with a win.

Now the question is being asked: "Is the Tea Party dead." It can't be dead, it never existed. The people that attended those rallies are still alive, their ideas are still alive and retained in their hearts. Will they ever become a force in politics? That remains to be seen.

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