I feel the need to follow up the original post with a clarification for those of you of the Tea Party inclination who found a lot of the stereotypes contained therein offensive or disheartening, at the least. The original post, “We are not the Tea Party; We are the Free Party,” was written for a very specific audience with a specific purpose and was not directed at the Tea Party in any way. I was speaking to the 20-40 something young professionals who are overeducated and cynical or naive enough to buy into or at least relate to the stereotypes of both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party described below. My purpose was to address their disillusionment with both political parties, identify the common values they generally share which are consistent with the core values of the Republican party, and emphasize that it is possible for us to mobilize and carry out a reformation of sorts as the Tea Party did with the result of uniting behind a Republican candidate in the next election.
When I referred to the Republican Party as holding ideals that are “bigoted, racist, sexist,” etc, I was speaking to the stereotypes perpetuated by the liberal news media platforms. Unfortunately, these stereotypes really have taken hold in the perspectives of a lot of my peers. I am not saying that this is right or that I think this way, but I am saying that this is a major problem that must be addressed to motivate this group of people to vote Republican in the future.
Please note that when I described this stereotype of the Republican Party, I was not referring to the Tea Party. The reference to the Tea Party in the title of the piece and in the final paragraph is meant to cite the Tea Party as an example of a group of people who were less than thrilled with what they were getting from the Republican Party and who therefore started and continue to maintain a movement of successful reform within the GOP. I am holding the Tea Party up as an example that such reform and rebranding can be successfully carried out.
You may ask why I do not urge my peers to join the Tea Party or other less well known libertarian or independent movements. I do not because the unfortunate stereotypes of the GOP have already stigmatized the Tea Party amongst this group of people, and I don’t have the idealism or energy to believe that it would be possible to pull a large enough chunk of Democrat or Republican leaning members of my peer group over to the libertarians to do anything other than take away important votes from a Republican candidate in 2016. I do think that the national news media political pundits have painted the Tea Party as extremists or as another version of the same negatively stereotyped Republican right. Although I do not hold that perspective, the audience I am trying to reach in the original post unfortunately does buy into this stereotype, mainly because they believe what they hear from the talking heads. The purpose of this blog is not to challenge these stereotyped perspectives but to bypass them entirely with the same ultimate goal.
I wrote this piece in direct reaction to my dismay with the results of the election on Tuesday night. I could not understand how so many of my peers could vote for Obama in the name of certain social issues when a semi-socialist Democrat administration would likely mean possible economic collapse or at least the continued growth of the federal government, something which I believe threatens the protection of those very “rights” with which they are so concerned.
Rather than exhausting myself and dying early from the stress of trying to convince my peers that the Tea Party is a cause they should join, I think the best way to motivate this group to the same ultimate end is to emulate the Tea Party’s successful model of reinventing and rebranding a type of Republican ideology that appeals to the more socially liberal and economically conservative values of this group of people. There are a lot of ways to accomplish the same thing, and I think this is the best way to really cut to the heart of the matter with my peers.