October 26, 2015

Has the Tea Party run its course?

A recent poll from Gallup indicates that support for the Tea Party is at an all time low.
Americans' support for the Tea Party has dropped to its lowest level since the movement emerged on the national political scene prior to the 2010 midterm elections. Seventeen percent of Americans now consider themselves Tea Party supporters, and a record 54% say they are neither supporters nor opponents.
The headline decries the end of the Tea Party. But the growth come in the form of apathy. The percent of those who consider themselves opponents of the Tea Party has dropped modestly as well. The number of people who do not consider themselves supporters or opponents has grown considerably. That's come predominantly at the expense of Tea Party supporters. But put another way, the total percentage of those aligned with or not opposed to the Tea Party has remained constant. Doesn't sound as bad, does it?

Furthermore, keep in mind that president Obama's job approval polling was at an all time low prior to the 2012 election.  He turned it around in time to win, before the ratings waned again, but still reside above his historical lows. The difference is that the Tea Party, is not running for political office - at least not directly.  But that doesn't mean their popularity is unimportant.

The question of whether the Tea Party has run its course is actually two different questions: (1) Is there still a need for a Tea Party in America?  (2) Has the Tea Party as an amorphous entity run its course.  The answer to that is a resounding yes - to both questions. 

The Tea Party's ideals are something America desperately needs.  Despite the constant liberal media sniping at it, the Tea Party serves to remind Americans who listen, how far the country has drifted from the principles that made the nation great. The need is there. So in that sense the Tea Party has not run it's course.

But as people drift away, or are less inclined to identify themselves as aligned with the Tea Party when asked by a pollster, there is clearly either an image, or energy problem.  So the Tea Party needs to reinvent itself, or dissolve and re-grow under a new banner in order to attract new attention and to distance themselves from the false image thrust upon them by an all too willing liberal media.  After all, the Tea Party is soooo Obama era.  We have new self-declared enemies in the likes of Hillary Clinton.  A new opponent requires a new face of common sense standing to oppose it because the old one is not working well enough.

And the fluid nature and disparate objectives of local chapters of the Tea Party made (sorry for the verbiage) a collective push impossible.  That's not an inconsequential factor either.  A movement requires a single direction, not 47 different objectives that are somewhat aligned.

But other than that, the Tea Party is just fine.

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