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Change They Can't Believe InThe Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America$
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Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163611

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163611.001.0001

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Who Is the Tea Party and What Do They Want?

Who Is the Tea Party and What Do They Want?

(p.1) Introduction Who Is the Tea Party and What Do They Want?
Change They Can't Believe In

Christopher S. Parker

Matt A. Barreto

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter considers how people are driven to support the Tea Party from the anxiety they feel as they perceive the America they know is slipping away, threatened by the rapidly changing face of what they believe is the “real” America: a heterosexual, Christian, middle-class (mostly) male, white country. The Tea Party's emergence is the latest in a series of national right-wing social movements that have cropped up in America since the nineteenth century. This chapter argues that support for the Tea Party is motivated by something beyond the more conventional view of conservatism in which economic freedom and small government, as well as social and fiscal responsibility, are prized. Instead, people who are attracted to the Tea Party are reactionary conservatives: people who fear change of any kind.

Keywords:   Tea Party, right wing, social movements, conservatism, reactionary conservatives, America

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