Where does the name come from?
- Boston' Tea Party 1773: American settlers threw imported tea into the Boston harbour, “No taxation without representation”
- Not a party itself, but a term covering several groups → shared beliefs, members not homogeneous, no leading figure but various representatives
Who are they?
- average Tea Party supporter (taken from a 2010 New York Times/CBS News poll): white, male, married and older than 45, more affluent and better educated than the general public → loyal Republicans, conservative
- extremely disapproving of Barack Obama:
• he “has expanded the role of government too much” (88%)
• his “policies are moving the country more toward socialism” (92%)
• they think that “in recent years, too much has been made of the problems facing
black people” (52%)
- representative of the movement: Michele Bachmann
• running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2012
• describes herself as a “Constitutional Conservative”, special emphasis on less
government intervention, restoring the economy and conservative values (family,
What do they want?
- purge the Republican party from members not sufficiently conservative
- want to block the Democratic agenda on:
• the economy: less interference from the government, supportive of capitalism and
free markets → fear of socialism and violation of the Constitution
• the environment: do not believe in climate change and that it may have serious
serious consequences in the future (53%)
• the health care: too much has been done for the poor, want to repeal the healthcare
legislation (take back Obamacare)
- overall goals: reduce the federal deficit and save money!
e.g. by cutting taxes (esp. those for the rich)
- subject to corporate interest: Koch Industries (annual turnover of 100 billion $)
supporting the movement; consequently promoting capitalism without any government
intervention, against environmental protection and in favour of lower taxes
What are their achievements and what may happen in the future?
- strong force in helping Republican party take control of the House of Representatives in 2010
- however, support appears to be declining: too extreme and unwilling to compromise?
→ extremely polarising, such movements should not be underestimated; still they need to constitute certain goals and become a unity in order to ensure a long-time participation in national politics