Apr 20, 2010

The Tea Party parties on

by Ethan Massey

Though the fear of big government and bigger taxes belongs to an era long past, members of the Tea Party Express are again taking up the cause once championed by Samuel Adams and his fellow Bostonians.

After appearing as supporters of Sen. Scott Brown during his Massachusetts campaign, Tea Party activists have continued to draw the media’s eye as they poise themselves to impact upcoming elections. Despite the party’s media following, many Americans remain surprisingly unaware of the Tea Party’s intentions to put the U.S. on the right track.

Of the 18 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Tea Party members, the majority are wealthier and more educated than the general public, according to MSNBC.

Along with many Republicans, these conservative voters are largely concerned with the government’s fiscal responsibility and getting rid of government-run health care. However, the Tea Party seems to have stumbled upon something innovative with their limited government campaign.

Activists descended on Washington, D.C., for a Tax Day rally April 15. With protestors came a 10-point “Contract From America” that Tea Partiers want the next Congress to follow. Among these points, the contract asked Congress to “protect the Constitution,” “balance the budget” and “stop the tax hikes,” according to ABC News.

Although the contract does not officially release until April 15, it has already come under biting criticism from an overly defensive Democratic Party.

“These are bumper sticker slogans — not a plan,” Brian Woodhouse, the communications director of the Democratic National Committee, told ABC News on Wednesday.

While Democrats’ tempers do seem strained these days, it is obvious that their plans have been significantly impacted by the Tea Party. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer confirmed that the Tea Party rallies across the country have played a role in lawmaker’s decisions to run for another term, according to CNN.

Come November, the Tea Party may be a force to be reckoned with but Republicans are concerned that this may split the vote and put the ball back in the Democrats’ court. Attempts to merge the Tea Party with the Republican Party are being made, but leading members insist that the Tea Party is an entity in and of itself.

“These Republicans smile at me, shake my hand and then stab me in the back,” Tea Party Express III Tour Chairman Mark Williams told CNN.

In the face of doubts regarding the Tea Party’s permanence, members have indicated that they are not simply angry with the economy or the health care plan, but with the current state of affairs in Washington, D.C.

“We’re in a war for the soul of this country,” Williams said. “We need to purge both parties.”

No matter the outcome in November, Tea Party members have made it clear that they are looking to the future of America and trying to shape a better tomorrow for both Democrats and Republicans.

Contact Ethan Massey at
ehmassey@liberty.edu.


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