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Could the "Tea Party" become a viable third party?

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:54 AM
I never gave much credence to the Tea Party movement. To me they always seemed like a new skin for the GOP. They needed a new suit-of-arms after the damage done by the Bush Administration and the crushing defeat in the 08 elections. The Tea Party seemed to be the perfect grass-roots "back to the basics" style of campaigning they needed. I really didn't pay much attention to them as a separate identity from the Republicans, until recently at least. Now I'm not so sure if they are synonymous, in fact, I think that the Tea Party, could become a real first in the America: It could become an actual viable third party...

Now, let it be known, I'm not endorsing the Tea Party or any political ideology. This isn't about what they stand for or what their tactics are. This is about what the movement could escalate into. I began to see the Tea Party differently as recently as only last week. A Washington Post article, written by Staff Writer Sandya Somashekar was discussing the odd silence of the Tea Party Movement on the ruling by a Federal Judge that the 1996 law forbidding the recognition of gay-marriages by the Federal Government. While Republican slanted outlets were crying as though somebody stole their child out of a mall, the Tea Party didn't make a peep. Not a statement, not a catchy soundbite, not a press release -- nothing.

Ms. Somashekar went to go interviewed various chapter leaders of the Tea Party, and she began to receive similar talking points that pointed to a divergence of opinion between the GOP and the TP.

"I do think it's a state's right," said Phillip Dennis, Texas state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. The group does not take a position on social issues, he said, but personally, "I believe that if the people in Massachusetts want gay people to get married, then they should allow it, just as people in Utah do not support abortion. They should have the right to vote against that."

Washington Post, Sandya Somashekar. 2010. Washington Post

Now I don't really trust polls too much. I don't feel they give a good view of a population. CBS's poll had a rather broadly collected data set, and they found that 18% of the country currently considered themselves as a Tea Party member. That's a pretty good number for only having been established for a little over a years time. Prying deeper there does in fact appear to be some variety within the group. Though mostly white, the group was split mostly down the middle when it came to gender, and 4 in 10 of those polled identified themselves as liberal-leaning. The drive of the people involved is rather astonishing as well. at the 9/12 rally, FreedomWorks estimated that roughly 450,000 people attended the protest at Washington D.C.

The movement appears to have taken hold in the hearts of Libertarians, independents and generally anybody who feels disenfranchised through government action and inaction. It seems to hold the old-guard philosophies of the GOP pre-Reagan with the economic sensibilities of the Libertarian "party."

This "movement" could end up not dwindling or plateauing like most media analysts would like to say. If the numbers are correct, if the movement turns into a viable third party, it would become a major upset for the political spectrum in the United States. Everything that has become status quo in Washington bureaucracy would be shaken and trust into a new era of American politics.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:58 AM
Sorry Sarah Palin and the Republicans have allready hijacked it,as for a viable third party just try it and you will get the full weight of the legal system,mass media,corporate elites and other powerful entities run over you like a stray dog on the road.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:08 AM
reply to post by anglodemonicmatrix

The fact that the Tea Party has weighed in with a rather Libertarian stance on gay-rights in this situation is proof to me that the Republicans have NOT hijacked it. They should be giving the same talking points as the GOP about it, crying as though they were shivved with a rusty screwdriver. We don't see this, in fact it's quite the opposite. Obviously many in the group are registered Republicans (6 in 10 identified themselves of either Republicans or leaning towards conservative views) but that does not mean they are foot-in-step with the Republican Party. The Post-Reagan Neo-Conservative Republicans are a drastic change to the more core-conservative ideology of yesteryear. I think this was the moment the Tea Party showed they aren't just a puppet of the GOP, but a separate entity.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:39 AM
reply to post by WolfofWar

Oh for sure.... aside from the fact its essentially exactly like the third largest political party in the country: Libertarian...

So let's have
Tea party.

Republicans are fascist scum, they can stay where they are.

Constitutionalist are far to religious for their own good, they are the neorepublicans of sorts, who refuse to go Libertarian because of their stance (or lack therof) on social issues.

Libertarians are true Conservatives. No stance on social issues, drastically cut government, no religious or fascist bs.

Tea partiers are crazed republican idiots vocalizing stupidity, or they are republicans mad at their own party but having no idea there are already 2 other alternatives and know jack about third parties, or are republican opprotunist trying to make a name for themselves directing the whole sordid affair.

For instance the guy you quote, he's a Libertarian... but he's not? Because he's an opprotunist, better to be an outspoken republican like Ron Paul (a coward who has to run as a Republican so his district will vote for him)

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:40 AM
You have stumbled upon the key thing of the Tea Party. Yes there are some Tea Party groups that go by the GOP agenda. The one Sarah Palin is a part of is a good example. The key thing, that you have now found, is that each Tea Party group is not the same. It is not a cohesive group. Each Tea Party group has their own issues that they care about. It is about the people on a local level that are voicing their opinions about how their government should work.

Many want less government in general and many want government operations to move towards the state and local level as much as possible.

On a personal level, I don't think some jerk, any jerk, in a white house with an oval office know's what is best for me. Their job is to look after the collective of Americans, the country, not the individual. Don't confuse that with a willingness to let individual rights to be usurped. I am only one of 300 million. At that level my voice is just a drop in the ocean. I can have more influence with my local pol's, to try and effect change. Keeping issues as local as possible is key to maximum freedom and happiness for all individuals.

ETA: I'm not a tea party member, I've never even been to a rally for them. I'm a registered Libertarian and proud of it. I try my best to stick to the general philosophy of Libertarianism.

On the issue of gay marriage, let them marry. Marriage is and should be a religious experience. A 'legal' marriage certificate is nothing but a financial document and I think the government should not be involved in marriage in any way.

It is BS that married people get a tax break. Eff them and their financial document of marriage.

ETA2: I'm not a believer in religion either.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by sporkmonster]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:43 AM
I don't consider myself to be a tea party member but I am fascinated with what they have done in such a short time. I believe that the tea party is well on the way to becoming a third political party in the US and maybe it's time. Both the Democrats and the GOP have been at war with each other for long enough, Americans have been manipulated into a belief that they can not agree on a single issue. Do we really believe that the two parties could be such polar opposites?

Our political system has been in dire straights for a long time and the people are tired of it. The people are tired of two parties who can't agree on anything. When did America become a two party nation? Creating the tea party is the American people saying that they choose to vote for "None of the above."

I don't think that the Dems, GOP or the media could stop them now. It's an American Revolution.

The following is just my feelings and no one should take offense, it is the way I see things going.

As for me personally, I lost faith in America with Bill Clinton's second election. Bob Dole stepped down and admitted defeat when it was announced that Clinton had won the majority of the electoral vote. The votes of less than five states had been counted when Clinton was elected for a second time. The votes of 45 states didn't count, the votes of the American public didn't count.

The next election was the longest, most drawn out election in US history. Every vote had to be counted and recounted just to show the American people that their vote actually counted. Bush was elected and the public hated him.

Before Bush took office there were people saying that he was not our President because he was not elected. The media hated him and the world hated him. So ask yourself, Who voted for him to have a second term? Could it have been the electorate?

Now Obama is president the democrats pass a health care bill that the people don't want, the republicans fought to stop and the democrats said that they would pass it without any regard to what the people want. The Tea Party comes along, the media paints them as being racists. I have no doubt that there are members of the tea party who simply can not stand the thought of having a black president but can you say all tea party members are racists? Can you blame the actions of the few on the entire party? Where would the Democratic and Republican parties be if we blame the group?

I am tired of a government who does nothing but bicker back and forth. I am tired of a government that oppresses the rights of the states to govern themselves. I watch the tea party with great interest and with hope for a better government.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:50 AM
reply to post by Rockpuck

The difference is the Libertarian is the third largest party, but hardly viable. At any given time it 220,000 registered voters under it's banner. According to CBS 18% of the country considers themselves Tea Party Members. If we take that percentage and use the 2008 registered voters participation, you have roughly 30 million "Tea Party" members. Hell it's rallies held more then all of the Libertarian parties registered members!

The Libertarian party may be the third largest party, but like the Constitution or Green Party, it's hardly viable by any measure. This is coming from a registered Libertarian, by the by.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:43 AM
reply to post by WolfofWar

I understand the Tea Party is larger.. but its a pop-culture movement. You've already pointed out that the party its self is deeply fragmented.. how can 18% of the country say they belong to one group that exist as a thousand groups? It makes no sense!

MOST tea party people are Republicans. Even while being registered Republicans, still claim to be tea party activist.. they see the party as a Republican movement. Nearly all my personal friends fall into this conundrum.. to me, it makes little sense, but in their eyes the Republican party is supposed to be like the Teap Party.. they see themselves as party protesters, but will never vote third party.

Then there are some who are very liberal, democrats and so forth.. they may say they are tea party members, but would never vote that way..

Its an outlet to express general frustration.

If you feel your beliefs are inline with, say, Libertarianism ..... JOIN THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY.

If its in line with the Socialist or Green, by God, grow a pair people, register as one!!

@$%^ the Tea Party and the horse it rode in on. Its a side show for the Republicans and ignorant, confused Americans who can't understand the system. The Tea Party is a lot of things, but never a Political Party.

I'm a registered Libertarian. I know what I am.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:31 AM
reply to post by WolfofWar

Nope, because all the tea party represents is conservative anger and frustration following the elections. Just like clockwork the folks that make up these tea parties will find themselves voting in their favourite GOP politician once again.

Are they a vialble third party? No, because at the end of the day the tea parties are the GOP. It makes little sense for the tea parties to form their own third party if they already dictate the GOP. If a Tea party third party were to be formed, it'd just simply mesh right back into the GOP again.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:03 AM
A third-party is not viable.

Second line.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:05 AM
The tea party is basically just a branch of the republican party, America needs a third party that stands for libertarian values...and honestly, Sarah Palin?
It's nothing short of embarrassing that people actually support her...

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:13 AM
reply to post by Southern Guardian

All true.


The Tea Party formed under Bush... not Obama.. it was hi-jacked by the Republican Party as soon as Obama won.. but only because many of the original Tea Party members, out of anger and frustration with the Republicans and Democrats, used their votes as weapons and purposefully cast against Republicans.

I voted Democrat, just to try and dislodge my own incumbent Republican (it sadly didn't work, the wretched wench will never leave) and voted 3rd party for President. All in all over 5 Republican offices, Federal and Local lost my vote.. it was for actions like this that landed Democrats their large majority, and possibly even helped get Obama elected.

But to think the movement started BECAUSE of Obama is ignorance of fact.

What the Tea-Party is now, is as you say, nothing but a Republican perversion.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:15 AM
reply to post by Solomons

A political party that stands for Libertarian values??????


posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:20 AM
reply to post by Rockpuck

The tea party grew out of Ron Paul's campaign.

Campaign for Liberty has over 500,000 members right now.

That's a pretty serious political organization, and those 500,000 people are all of the libertarian bent.

The reason why a third party will never emerge here in America is because the democrats and republicans have established a system that greatly restricts third parties through campaign finance laws, ballot requirements, and media control.

There is a good reason why the federal government is all democrats and republicans.

Its not because third parties haven't tried.

At this point, the most effective means of taking back the government comes through usurping the republican party and taking control of their political framework.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:39 AM
reply to post by mnemeth1

And that's one of Ron Pauls goals.. even though hes a life time member of the Libertarian Party, he believed that by going to the Republican side, he could change the way the party operated.

The way I see it, big business and special interest can throw money at either side.. they have a 50/50 chance of winning either way, and if they are big enough, just throw money at both sides and it's a sure win..

I believe by adding a 3rd party to the mix.. it would make government in general harder to corrupt.. I don't care if it's a Liberal or a Conservative party.. but then again.. other countries with more than two parties are just as bad off .. look at the UK..

Has Democracy forced us into a situation of constantly choosing the lesser of two evils?

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 12:13 PM

Originally posted by Solomons
The tea party is basically just a branch of the republican party, America needs a third party that stands for libertarian values...and honestly, Sarah Palin?
It's nothing short of embarrassing that people actually support her...

I think you would find that many of them do not care about Sarah Palin. Yes many of them would vote for Republicans, but honestly, that's not some type of death sentence. They are Republican leaning, but with more and more news stories that pop up on them, they are proving to be differentiating themselves from the GOP. They may form a new Republican group, or maybe a more moderate Libertarian identity. Regardless of how fragmented they are, those are just birth pangs, nothing more.

I think the media and everybody in general is underestimating what the Tea Party could be capable of once it finally gets out of those birth pangs.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by WolfofWar

It is possible. Would be interesting to see the affects.

Statistically a major political event occurs every 40-60 years. We're long overdue for it since Regan took the south.

The problem of course would be organizing, as the tea party is a concoction of many people unified under minimal government and absolute constitutionality. This is good, however. For in their other differences, they will only get those two things done.

I suppose we will see in 2012. When the republican party was founded, it took some time for it to actually become a party. Give them 4 years. We'll see. I do hope so. While I do believe that the 2 party system has worked pretty well, one must realize that 3 is a major part of the division of government. Why not 3 parties too? However to say the truth, I'm more in favor of the tea party replacing the republican party.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:44 PM
reply to post by Gorman91

I think that there are far too many powerful Republican lobbies that would inhibit the Tea Party's "old-school conservatism" from taking over the GOP. I can imagine them sticking together and essentially voting for their own candidates. We have already seen some conservatives try to use it as a platform. Those who were in line with the neo-conservative GOP typically failed, but others who embody the Tea Parties own separate viewpoints seemed to do pretty well when it came to fundraising and platforming. If the numbers are true, and 18% of the country considers themselves a Tea Party member, and they can unify under an organized structure, well that's more then enough voters to sway at least local and state elections.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by WolfofWar

I did not know that it was up to 18%.

In that case I'd view it as more of a new opinion-forcer. Almost like a lobbyist group not in D.C, but rather in the common person. With almost 20%, that's enough to win or lose an election. "tea party approved" would be a logo able to kill or save a candidate.

In that case, could this be the emergence of something new? A political party regulator, of sorts? Political parties have traditionally been their own regulated system. This would be a non-party affiliated approval service. And knowing the kind of people making them up, I doubt that they would easily be bought. Most of them have been too abused by the system to ever consider being bought by it.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:55 PM
reply to post by Gorman91

Yeah a New York Times CBS News Poll was done in April. 18% of those polled considered themselves "tea Party activists or supporters."

In all acknowledgment, polling isn't always too reliable on a global data set, but as a base measure, that's pretty impressive growth for one year.

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