The analysis following this article outlines the current state of the Tea Party after the elections. What is missing from this analysis? The causes of the demise of the first Tea Party movement.
1. The Tea Party was taken over by the Republican party effectively in 2010. The GOP used this grass roots effort to take control of the US House, the North Carolina House and Senate with no reward or future support. While this is a matter of opinion, the debate on this statement can only start with the treatment of the Tea Party at the Tampa GOP convention. Any level of power corrupts and this was evident throughout the convention. It is continuing in the House under the “Boehner Tea Party Purge”.
2. The Tea Party was effectively demonized by the “race card”. I always say “thank you” when I am called a racist since it means that the point under discussion has been won by me. Instead of conceding a point, the race card is played as a last desperate attempt to win. Instead of fighting the label, the Tea Party response was half-hearted or the group/individual in question backed down. But to their defense, it is hard to defend yourself when the media and the Democratic party are against you. And the Republican party is not defending you.
3. Ignorance. Most people in the Tea Party supported one issue: immigration, Agenda 21, second amendment, supporting specific candidates. How do you expect to affect change when you are told who to vote for in the elections by “Tea Party” ballots? If you cannot take the time to research candidates, should you vote for candidates because it is expedient? Case in point: how did Pat McCrory become the GOP candidate for North Carolina governor? He stands for everything that the Tea Party is fighting against (at least on the Republican front).
4. Lack of effective leadership. Argue for your ignorance and it will certainly be yours. You cannot win this battle without the leadership at ground level. What did the top down leaders get the Tea Party in the final analysis? With little resources that were generally misused, the message never got out. Ask ten different Tea Party members what is their message and you will get at least five different answers. Every ask yourself why the Tea Party never resonated with younger people but the Occupy Movement did? Did you ever talk with an occupy demonstrator?
5. The media’s relentless attack on the Tea Party was effective. Billboards with no clear message, petitions and individual causes had no chance to stop the Socialist juggernaut that steamrolled over Liberty.
I see many unanswered questions above. I have answers as do you. The first step is to develop a set of goals and principles. Are you going to set back and get mad at this analysis or are you ready to fight back? Tea Party, Tea Party II, Hard Tea Party, Liberty Movement or paralysis?
The Tea Party movement is reevaluating its priorities after a disappointing election cycle and conservative Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) abrupt departure from the Senate.
Former Rep. Dick Armey’s split last week from FreedomWorks — one of the movement’s most visible groups — also highlights ongoing tensions within the Tea Party. The challenge: striking a balance between working with the establishment and working to upend it.
But activists involved at both the grassroots and more organized level said the movement’s future will hinge both on its ability to translate its small government ideals to people outside the Beltway, and to engage more actively in the political process in the future.
The Tea Party took a beating in 2012, with only four of the 16 Senate candidates backed by the movement winning on election night.
Though the movement fared better in the House, Tea Party Caucus founder Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) barely managed to fight off a challenge from her Democratic opponent. Tea Party darling Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was defeated despite being one of the top House fundraisers in the nation.