A blast from the past–in our July issue, Alison Midori Reilly wrote on the American Tea Party movement, which is not quite the same today as it was back in the 1700s. Behold:
“A conservative political grassroots collective, the Tea Party became a national movement in February 2009, when protests were organized across the United States in response to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, better known as the stimulus package. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when colonists protested to Britain’s new tax on tea by dumping the tea from docked ships into the harbor.
Typically, a Tea Party supporter is a man, he is married, he is over 40, has some higher education, employed, financially secure. Overall, the Tea Party is against government spending and increased taxation. But Tea-Party luminaries insist it isn’t a single-issue movement.
Their main issues include cutting taxes, debt and spending, repealing Obama’s health care law (dubbed Obamacare), and reining in the federal government back into the limits of the centuries-old U.S. Constitution.
Even though the movement is well known for its economic agenda, it also has a very strong social agenda. As a whole, the Tea Party is much more conservative on abortion policy: 59 percent of them believe abortion should be illegal in most cases, compared with 42 percent of registered voters and 56 percent of Republican voters.
Tea Partiers express strong religious views, as 46 percent of them say that religion is the “top influence of their views”, more than Republicans (40 percent) and registered voters (28 percent).”