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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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The Tea Party and Obamaphobia: Is the Hostility Real or Imagined?

The Tea Party and Obamaphobia: Is the Hostility Real or Imagined?

(p.190) 5 The Tea Party and Obamaphobia: Is the Hostility Real or Imagined?
Change They Can't Believe In

Christopher S. Parker

Matt A. Barreto

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the extent to which a positive orientation toward the Tea Party influences attitudes and opinions about the president beyond ideology, partisanship, general out-group hostility, and racism. It argues that Barack Obama's ascendance to the White House, and his subsequent presidency, triggered anxiety, fear, and anger among those who support the Tea Party because of what he represented: tangible evidence that “their” America is rapidly becoming unrecognizable. Even as Tea Party supporters railed against government spending, it seemed that their underlying frustration was with Barack Obama himself. This so called Obamaphobia appears to transcend simple policy disagreement, with many Tea Party supporters openly questioning the president's patriotism and his American citizenship on several occasions.

Keywords:   Tea Party, Obamaphobia, out-group hostility, racism, patriotism, American citizenship

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