The Tea Party movement in the United States is greatly influencing the political agenda of the Republican National Party. Although the Tea Party movement did not get its running start until late 2009, the movement has gained great momentum since the midterm elections of 2010. Furthermore, the 2014 midterm election results on all three levels of government (national, statewide and local) reiterates the popular notion that the Tea Party movement fails to be merely a passing phenomenon, but is fundamentally changing the Republican Party (Hook 1).
The Tea Party Movement
The Tea Party is primarily made up of conservative and libertarian politicians, among the most noteworthy being Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Representative Michele Bachmann, and former Governor and Vice Presidential hopeful, Sarah Palin (Thomas & Ornstein 1). When the Republicans gained control of the House in 2010, Americans saw House Republicans adopting Tea Parties’ viewpoints, such as decreasing the size and role of government and lowering taxes (Hook 1). Senator Ted Cruz, for example, had an overwhelming persuasion on Congress during the Government Shutdown of 2013, which was ultimately viewed as a Tea Party response to Obamacare and government prying into the privatized healthcare industry.
As previously mentioned, the 2014 midterm election results proved a landslide victory for the Republican National Party. When we look at some of the key victors, such as anticipated Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, whom is from the same state as Tea Party Senator, Rand Paul, we see the ideology of the Tea Party being widely adopted in Republican-dominated states (Hook 1). Moreover, analysts have noticed an increase in both young voters and minorities since the Tea Party Movement started. This is most likely due to the Tea Party movement and its ability to attract true Libertarian voters, which are much more diverse than the voter population belonging to the Republican National Party.
There is a divide within the Republican Party; moderate conservatives are meeting head-to-head with radical conservatives. Even though this is the largest Republican majority in Congress since World War II, it appears that House Speaker, John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, will have their own issues stopping gridlock among members of their own party (Hook 1). The Tea Party movement has the ability to become a permanent fixture in the American history if their legislative agenda comes to fruition.
If Obamacare is reversed or greatly reformed during the reign of this Republican-dominated Congress, evidence will suggest that it was the Tea Party movement that truly limited the government’s role in healthcare reform. Additionally, if this Congress produces tax reform in regards to corporates and small businesses, it will further the belief that the Tea Party movement is not a mere phenomenon, but is fundamentally changing the Republican Party (Norman & Ornstein).
Hook, Janet. “Republican Party Sets Its Path Following Big Election Win.” The Wall Street
Mann, Thomas & Norman Ornstein. “Which Republican Party Won the Midterm?” The
Washington Post. Web. (15 Nov. 2014).