Confused About the Tea Party

Apr 21

Confused About the Tea Party

I’ve been trying to wrap my ahead around today’s Tea Party and what they want exactly. The New York Times says those in the “party” are more educated and wealthier than the general public. That was a surprise for me.

Eighteen percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45. Another surprise.

Do Tea Partiers feel disenfranchised from the government because a Democrat is in office or are they disillusioned with their own party, the Republicans?

When they say President Obama is a socialist…in what way? Because of healthcare reform? The reform isn’t socialism.

When they say President Obama wants to take away their gun rights, what is precipitating this? I haven’t seen a change in the gun laws. When they say that the NRA in fact is not strong enough in fighting for the rights to carry arms out in public…do they think a Republican president would be for that? And do we really want people walking around with guns?

What is really fueling the Tea Party? What is fueling the anger? Defeat? Idealogy? Something other?

The Times says in doing the survey that the overwhelming majority of supporters say President Obama does not share the values most Americans live by. In what way?, I ask. According to the survey,  the President does not understand the problems of people like themselves. Really? And more than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public. This last finding really scares me. When is it okay not to try to reach out and help the poor, regardless of race or ethnicity? In terms of favoring blacks over whites, did we complain about every previous president favoring whites over blacks? Now it’s an issue?

I am confused…but perhaps not so much. I think it’s pretty clear what is going on. Unfortunately….


  1. Ron Williams /

    I think it’s pretty clear that it is racism that fuels this particular group. What is far worse is the attacks on people in government, the throwing of bricks through windows, the call to arms- they are obviously an unstable sector of our society, one to be closely monitored and dealt with appropriately. Our Government should not stand for such acts of terrorism by it’s own people…

  2. Diane Lansing /

    At first I simply wanted to agree with Ron (I do) But then I went online and watched a video of the Tea Party on the Huffington Post. Okay first I read an article about Pot then watched a hysterical Jon Stewart video singing”f… you” with a gospel choir….I’m easily waylaid. But I think I needed the levity to save me from the horror of that Tea Party video. They want to get rid of; The Department of Education, the EPA, IRS, and Social Security! I need to take a breath just writing this. The ignorance is frightening. And when questioned about why they feel the way they do, few could answer with any intelligence. It was empty spewing. I’m saddened but glad to know more of the truth, I only hope those people can find more openness for real truth in their lives. Which is another vote to indeed not get rid of the Department of Education, as weak as it is right now.

  3. Jordan George /

    “Don’t take my medicare away”- that’s one of their mantras. It’s illogical how you can scream for less government but at the same time fight for a government program. And when Sarah Palin is one of your leaders, well……
    It comes down to racism. Pure and simple. Plus the acceptance of bullying and threatening of violence is scary.

  4. Kim McGraw /

    The tea party gang is grabing at straws. Let them keep talking…they’ll sink themselves.

    Kim M

  5. Deborah Lansing /

    It’s a damn shame that people are so small minded. The tea party’s agenda will surely fail!

  6. Craig Miller /

    I don’t know what every one of the Tea Baggers want, and either do the people writing these comments. Racism? Really?

    Some of the protesters are not sold on the big, expensive entitlement program that was just rammed through Congress. In your view, should those who disagree just pay up and shut up? There are probably lots of different agendas with common ground in frustration at the demonstrable failure of both parties to deal effectively with the economy. Even economists do not agree on the causes of and solutions to our economic problems. Maybe it is possible for someone to have a point of view different from yours without being evil, rotten, mean and nasty- or racist.

    Protests are noisy. When everybody is yelling there is plenty of room for some idiocy to creep in along with good ideas. Unfortunately, there very likely are some haters in the crowd, but shame on the people who try to claim that the protests themselves are racist.

    Two thoughts: There are some bad apples in every bunch- including yours; and, reasonable people can differ. Let’s go easy on the name-calling.

  7. Annie George /

    Everyone has the right to protest as well as disagree. Disagreeing is healthy. It’s when the truth is obfuscated by untruths and agendas, and people lose sight of what they’re fighting for or arguing against that worries me.

    And no I don’t think people should just shut up and pay up. It’s unfortunate, though, that this view was not taken when Congress gave the President the green light to invade Iraq in 2003. We were told to shut up….

    And the only name calling I heard was during Congress’ session to pass health reform legislation, when certain Congressmen and Senators were entering the hall (and the name calling had nothing to do with healthcare). But all this aside, it’s real dialogue based on the truth on both sides of the aisle that needs to take place. And yes there are bad apples, even rotten ones, on each side.

  8. Jordan George /

    Carrying guns and threatening violence is not a reasonable difference. Spitting on Congressmen is not justified. When someone disagreed with Bush or Cheney they were screamed at as being unpatriotic, lost their jobs/positions and even arrested for simply protesting. Maybe we are overreacting to the extremes of the previous administration that for the first time in my life made me fearful to speak out and speak the truth.

  9. Annie George /

    The Washington Post has an article today entitled, “Tea Party Groups Battling Perceptions of Racism.” Check it out at:

  10. Vehement, noisy disagreements because you have a different world view than your neighbor? Fine. Spitting on people, hurling epithets and all this other garbage? Completely out of control. And since when has an American president EVER had to repeatedly qualify, justify, and prove his citizenship? I remain convinced that a lot of people’s negative reactions, especially the Tea Partygoers, stem from the fact that President Obama is black. That lone fact will mean that many people will throw rational reactions and decisions out the window. The man I date happens to be of a different color, a different religion, and a different political affiliation. While we don’t agree on everything, you’d be surprised on how often we DO agree. The point is, we respect each other’s right to our opinion…and often have learned something along the way during discussion of an issue. When are we going to see people as just…PEOPLE!!!!

  11. The tea party gang is grabing at straws. Let them keep talking…they’ll sink themselves.

    Kim M

  12. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    –Benjamin Franklin

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