The Tea Party is a grassroots political movement which has gained a considerable following since its inception in 2009.Its platform centers on a single issue -- greater fiscal responsibility and conservatism on the part of each respective level of government. In this paper we examine the question of whether or not the Tea Party will develop into a viable political entity. We concluded early on in the process of researching this paper that extensive statistical analysis would only be a fruitless endeavor because of the contemporaneity of the Tea Party movement. Any figures we might choose to use stood the chance of being superseded and made moot by the results of, say, the most recent Gallup poll. In performing our holistic analysis, we first examine historical precedent with regard to third parties in American politics, and determine that precedent does not indicate that the Tea Party, when considered as a third political party, will gain a significant amount of support. Although we recognize that the Tea Party is considered by many to be a social moyement rather than a strictly political one, no one can deny that the Tea Party has had a significant impact on the polarization of politics in the United Statesl. We then examine potential support for the Tea Party and directly juxtapose that with obstacles which the movement may have to overcome, because although the Tea Parly has garnered a devoted following, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not these obstacles will outweigh the supportFinally, we look to the structure of the party itself, and argue that the Tea Party lacks a centralized structure conducive to success, and that its most visible and recognizable members are undeniably politically volatile. We strive to be as objective as possible in our analysis and maintain that we neither condemn nor condone any of the Tea Party's policies or actions. The scope of our analysis is limited to simply ascertaining whether or not the Tea Party is politically viable.
Olsen, Philip and Robinson, Alexa
"The Tea Party: Burgeoning or Beaten?,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 5
, Article 6.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol5/iss1/6