The tea party is a political movement in the United States that is mainly concerned for advocating reductions in federal budget and the national debt. Such reductions are proposed on grounds of minimizing taxes and the government spending. The movement perpetuates moral authority in that is evident in the history of the United States. The tea party has been perceived as conservative, populist and partly libertarian from different quarters. It has a history since 2009 of supporting some political personalities while it is also known to have been involved in sponsoring political protests. The tea party joined the political arena in the year 2008, following the Obama election as the president of the United States. Since then, the movement has maintained to be a firm political force which has got a large following.
The movement promotes a situation in which the officials, who are elected, have to be subjected to completion to obtain favor through adopting their style and tone. The existence of this important movement has altered debate tone around pertinent issues that include, gun control and immigration besides promoting wide spread debates on ideas to obtain extensive coverage in the public domain. The exact impact of the tea party movement remains an issue that will vividly unfold with time. This paper is aimed at evaluating the ways that the movement, tea party, has altered the political arena in the American perspective. The objective of this paper is not by any means centered on attacking the tea party movement but has a focus of assessing the impact it is posing or it ought to create on the landscape of politics in America.
The tea party movement successes show the widely spread alterations in the United States political landscape and the media as well in the recent times. The movement operates under the assumption that the media has lost its sole responsibility of acting as a watch dog since the invention of news cables and the internet, that further complicates transparency due to defragmentation of these sources of news.
The movement has created majorly two effects on the politics of America. They have brought quite a number of ideas that are largely new to the conscious mainstream. Of great importance is the fact that the party has created a shift in debating terms covering a variety of issues that encompasses the environment, gun control and immigration. The concept of “Overton window,” in political science provides an acceptable measure on the public opinion given by an individual without unnecessary tendency of becoming too extreme. This is one area that the movement has streamlined recently. On this paradigm, the movement has been successful in shifting the window to accommodate right reactions in acceptable measure.
Tea party movement has contributed to immigration debate by addition of an amendment termed as the 14th amendment. This amendment provides for an extension of citizenship to all people born in born in the United States. The movement appeals to the idea that such an amendment needs to be subjected to modification or otherwise it needs to be repealed. It is in record that the party supported Paul rand that raised the concern when he was campaigning the senate seat of Kentucky. However this has not gained grounds because of the introduction of seven states bills are intended to repeal citizenship obtained through birth. The idea proposed here is centered on racist uprising during 1980’s.mike Potok, argued that in the United States there are two kinds of citizens.
A sovereign citizen represents descendants of the initial white settlers who are perceived as bonfide citizens of America, this is the first type. Another group of citizens are the ones that are represented by the 14th amendment, the ones that obtained citizenship virtually because of the amendment and they are therefore deemed as not legitimate United States citizens. The tea party has rejuvenated the idea largely in a way that is seen as mute and which to a great extent has been futile in several instances and therefore seen as a solid failure. These ideas are seen as having been pushed to a territory where any more deliberations on the idea seems a likely impossibility.
The party still has shifted attention to another issue that also deserves much contention in the political landscapes of the United States of America. Gun rights have attracted the intervention of the tea party since the leadership of George Bush as the president of the United States of America. There is a wide spread view that the Obama administration has exhibited unnecessary laxity in handling the gun rights issue more the his predecessor, George Bush .however there is still a notion that plans to confiscate guns from all the citizens of the united states are underway in the current administration of the Obama presidency.
This view that is very common among the followers of the tea party. In a 31st and 24th march poll conducted in Harris among the followers of tea party show that about 70% of the followers and another 60% of republic constituency have a strong believe that the citizen’s rights to own guns will be taken away by the Obama administration. Even as Bush revealed less support for gun rights, in the recent times complete support of the rights to own rights has taken shape. For instance in the RNC new chair debates, various candidates were required to reveal to the moderator the number of guns that they possessed. Since the time the tea party rose, it has in a very close manner correlated to a change in tone based on the regulation among the party of republican.
The tea party movement has put concerted efforts in changing the issues surrounding the environment and given the government of the day a bone worth to chew. For a large portion of the history of America, the main parties have shown a point of convergence in environmental issues by at least reaching consensus on the need to preserve the environment by reductions of pollutants and supporting establishment of energy goals that are geared towards minimizing environmental degradation. However there are some issues where the two sides have disagreed and further discussions have reached a stalemate. The point of disagreement arises when it comes on the designing ways to achieve environmental conservation. Democrats are inclined towards favoring “command and control” mechanism while their partners, the republicans are in support of policies faced on markets. The probable anticipation lies in the fact that the market based policies are becoming very common and therefore there is a perception that reaching consensus between the two parties is just a matter of time.
A number of studies show a point of disagreement that is evident between the tea party movement and their enablers. The enablers have views that are partially system advocate and also oppositional partially. In a general sense, élite enablers support programs of federal nature that they think have benefits that will accrue from them such as Medicare and also that of social security. The enablers are opposed to programs that seem to benefit individuals that do not deserve, like programs that are meant for social welfare. Tea party has diverging views on this issue and they actually support libertarian views.
The changes in all the issues that this paper discusses reveal the mechanisms and ways in which the tea party has created impacts on the politics of the United States. Although the tea movement followers comprise a very small portion of the congressional republican delegation, they are known for their ability to exercise an influence that is much compared to their size.
The elite enablers of the movement have had the ability to utilize the grassroots energy that the movement enjoys, in an attempt to move agendas that at times are conflicting into the mainstream. The savvy navigation in the landscape of the media has further provided a good opportunity for the tea party to impact on major changes regarding the manner mainstream figures deliberate issues in the United States politics.
Several things still remain unknown regarding how the party movement may be successful or not in the future. The ultimate effects that may result also need to be demystified. For a large duration of the existence of the movement, the tea party has been a movement that can be seen as out of power movement. The movement operates under decentralization which creates difficulties in determination of issues that are adopted by the movement.
I hold a belief that the followers and participants of the tea party movement have claims that are legitimate on the politics of America. My support for the movement relies on the manner of expression of the movements issues. Even as much as I may not fully endorse all the issues, the movement’s concerns should be given the seriousness they deserve and addressed urgently.
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Glenn Beck, The Overton Window. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.