Via National memo comes a review of a book on the ‘Tea Party’.
One might imagine the changes that worry Tea Partiers to be primarily economic. But Tea Party members rarely emphasize economic concerns. The nightmare of societal decline is usually painted in cultural hues, and the villains in the picture are freeloading social groups, liberal politicians, bossy professionals, big government and the news media. Forces conspire, Arizona retiree Stella Fisher says, “to the breaking down of conservative society.” Kids today, she says, think “it’s not so important that you get married, even if you have a baby with somebody.” Members of the Tea Party peer out at a fast-changing society and worry. The public image of the Tea Party is one of anger. But in our experience, the more typical emotion is fear. (Theda Skocpol is a professor of government and sociology at Harvard University. Vanessa Williamson is a doctoral candidate in government and social policy at Harvard. This is an excerpt from their forthcoming book, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism to be published Jan. 2 by Oxford University Press.)