Politics - Tea Party?

Updated on October 18, 2010
M.!. asks from Boulder, CO
14 answers

Would someone be able to give me a simple answer on what the Tea Party is? I have tried following it in the news and I thought they were affiliated with the Republicans, but I think I may have mistaken.

Also, I am just asking our curiousity and to get background on it, definitely not looking at taking any which sides - just looking for info.


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Thanks for the great responses so far. It has helped me understand it much better. Thanks again!!

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answers from Boise on

They are a very conservative group that, although they try to state otherwise, are funded by some big corporations. They like to sell the idea that they are grassroots, and of the people, but someone is running it. While they have both Republicans and Dems in their numbers, they are very much to the right and support whichever candidate most matches their views and their specific agenda.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh Lord--here we go---LOL

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answers from Hartford on

You are having a hard time because it is ill-defined. While they claim to be a "grassroots" party, many of their activities, beginning in 2009, were fully funded and organized by corporate lobbying groups. Look up information about the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, or Freedom Works. Theses are slef-described conservative groups with lots of money. They do not align themselves with either party, but tend to ally with Republican conservitives. It is supposed to be a party that is counter to "politics as usual" party, but it is in fact "politics as usual" filled with Washington insiders. However, I think that many participants believe that it is grassroots because that is what they want at this time when many people are frustrated with the system of politics.

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answers from New York on

The tea party began right after President Obama began his presidency and began pushing laws through congress that were unpopular with many americans. "Stimulus" bills were passed and Americans were told it would stimulate the economy and the economy would recover. The bills promised to fund "shovel ready" projects such as new roads, bridges, courthouses, other public spending that would put people to work. The problem is that the government was already borowing a lot of money to do the regular stuff and the USA would have to borrow even more money to pay for the Stimulus bills. So people began to vent their frustration in online bulletin boards they began to say this is "taxation without representation" and it was just like back in the pre-revolutionary days of the Boston tea-party. They would say things like "we need to throw another tea party to get their attention." Actually I recall wirintg something like that when someone answered that they are goign to throw a tea party on April15, 2009. And on that date all around the country these small gatherings were held at townhalls and Main Streets. That's how the modern "tea party" began.

Since that time it's kind of taken on a life of it's own. It's generally made up of people who do not think the governemtn should borrow money to get in to a better financial position. The theory is that if your household was too far in debt (creidt cards, expensive cars, etc.) it wouldn't make sense to borrow more money.

Many of the people who are involved in the tea parties are small business owners and people who have always been financially conservative with their own personal finances. Like my aunt who rarely uses her air conditioner becuaes it's expensive, and has a very simple wardorbe - but she lives in a modest house that's paid off, drives a modest car that's paid for and has money in the bank. These kind of people frequently consider themselves Republicans before the tea party movement becuase they tend to be the party of fiscal conservatives. But in some areas of the country the Republican party does not like the "tea party " folks becuase they aren't part of the establishment. It's not really a political party in most parts of the country but a movement that kind of came out of no where. I think it's as much a surprise to the people who were posting complaints back in the late winter of 2009.

I have never been to a tea party event - but I was one of those original post-ers on bulletin boards back then. I've never been politically active but I do side with much of the tea-party positions and I have a number of friends who, like me never attended a political event in their life and have become very involved with tea-party emails, events, rallies, etc.

Most politician who are supported by the tea-party are people who've not been in politics before so they are not typical "political insiders" - although that's not always the case.

Does that help?

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answers from Chicago on

The Tea Party movement is a grassroots effort by regular Americans to voice their opinions about a trend in our society and government which they feel takes us drastically away from the vision and principles of the Founding Fathers. They fault BOTH the Dems and the Republicans for out-of-control spending, a vastly enlarged Federal government, and a beauraucracy which they see as intruding on the governed rights'.

It seems that most of the people who support the Tea Party are on the Right, but I also know many lifelong Democrats who also support it. My general sense is that it is attempting to emerge as a 3rd party, but many GOP leaders and candidates are trying to adopt the language of the Tea Partiers in an attempt to not lose votes to the Dems.


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answers from Dallas on

From what I can tell they're a group of people who are disgusted and disgruntled with the political goings on on both sides. They want change. Not the Obama kind of change, but REAL change.

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answers from Chicago on

T.E.A. = Taxed Enough Already

Revive the Founding Fathers theories on what America is based on; Freedom, Liberty & Justice for All (not handouts for All). Stop spending money, stop borrowing money from China, let the free market ride, stop creating government jobs, stop making us an entitlement nation. I don't want the government getting in between me & my Dr. Don't become a socialist country. Lets stay a free country. I was watching a show that says the U.S. is the 8th freest country (Canada is 7th, Hong Kong is 1st).

I have been to several Tea Parties & met tons of Democrats. Most people don't want to live in a socialist country. Although one of my best friends would love to see the U.S. become a socialst country (scary). She believes we should be provided housing, medical, schooling etc by the government. I love her to death but we cannot talk politics.

Like any party (Republican, Democrat, Tea Party) their are some people that give it a bad name. Some people think the 'Blue Dog Democrats' are terrible too. But it helps to have politicians vote for what's right & not just what Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Obama tell them what to vote for.

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answers from Washington DC on

Simply said, I think the Tea Party followers are ones who are against a Socialistic Government. You do tend to find a lot of Republican names backing it, but even a lot of Democrats support it also. If I had to pick a party it fell under I would definitely say Republican though. All in all they are fighting back against a lot of what President Obama has done since he has been in office and trying to get back to what the nation was before (stopping all of the stimulus payments, putting people back to work, not having universal health care the way it is currently written into law, etc.) My parents and plenty of neighbors have been to a lot of their rallies. They are always peaceful and clean. They are not necessarily anti-Obama, but they are pro-the people. If that makes sense. Anti-big government might be a better way to phrase it. But if you look at pictures, they always leave their rally areas clean and respectful. Regardless of what people may hear. And it is NOT a racial issue at all. I do get tired of hearing that. There are all colors of the rainbow supporting all political parties :).

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answers from Chicago on

It's Republicans and Democrats -- and just Americans in general - who are fed up with being overtaxed by our federal government for one thing. People who are sick of crazy, out-of-control spending by both parties. I think that's the main crux of it, although the issues go much deeper and wider than that.

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answers from Anchorage on

It depends on which Tea Party you are looking at. There are many groups that claim to simply want to stick to the constitution as written. But there are some groups, like the Tea Party express, that dedicate them selves and their money into buying elections in other states in order to put extremist in office who want to do away with things like social security, federalized school loans, and federal money for education(like up here in AK with Miller), because they consider these things to be unconstitutional. Still other groups seem to want to change our government completely by turning it into a Christian Theocracy. Some of these groups are the ones fighting against Gay rights based of their interpretation of the bible and the claim that our nation was founded by and should be run by the bible. It all depends really on where you are. I think over all the tea party groups are trying to do good things, but there are a lot of not so great groups as well that also use the name tea party. They claim to be a group for the people, but they are very far right, even more so than many Republicans.

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answers from Cincinnati on

They are an anti-tax anti-big-government movement that began directly after President Obama took office (less than two months after Obama took office, interestingly, although initially in response to stimulus bills that President Bush had signed into law). They are VERY similar to conservative libertarians in some ways, but also tend to be Christian (and many prominent Tea Party leaders have voiced a preference for Christian government and leadership, which is obviously not particularly libertarian). You can find some good information on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

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answers from Bakersfield on

The tea party are the people that are vocal about what they are against. At least that is what I think it means, it doesnt have any party lines, it's just the people that are passionately against what both parties are doing.
I'm sure if I'm wrong, we will know soon enough. :)

Wow, I'm reading the other posts and you are sure some smart girls!

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answers from Portland on

I think this is an interesting question. One reason the Tea Party remains a mystery (and yet is so popular) is that there is no specific codified Tea Party per se; that is, I have seen a lot of voices that have 'become' the Tea Party, but there's no statement in my voters pamphlet as to a specific, agreed-upon set of priorities or step-by-step informative plans. This is important to note, as most other parties- Democratic, Republican, Progressive, Independent, Pacific Green, Working Families Party all have some sort of statement of intention and values. The Tea Party has not chosen, at least to my knowledge, to convey intentions, although a libertarian candidate in our neck of the woods identifies himself in his voter's pamphlet submission as a Tea Party member/sympathizer.

While the Tea Party candidates are beating some of the other more moderate Republican candidates--and then seem to be running on the Republican ticket-- the whole thing is very confusing. It would be interesting to see this group sort itself out, actually taking strong, party-wide positions on some of the issues that single-issue voters are passionate about, and to see a presentation of well-thought-out plans. Unfortunately, many political parties can be accused of these same vague plans.:)

I'm not a Democrat and not a Republican, so I'm curious to see what the effect of the Tea Party will be on both the Republican party and politics in general. Makes me want to go back and re-read Trollope's "Parliamentary Tales"... not much has changed since the 1800's!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Michele Bachmann ( a rep from my state) is one of the stars of the tea baggers. She is truly delightful. Check it out at http://www.michelebachmannsaidwhat.com/

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