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

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