The upcoming November 2010 elections are being closely watched because of Tea Party candidates. Many are holding their breath to declare whether the so-called “Tea Party” candidates and platforms is successful will have to wait for results. The presumption is that the Tea Party movement will either prove to have been flummoxing by crackpots or a legitimate force in American politics. There is one thing that is for sure. The Tea Party is nothing new.
Tea Party part of a natural cycle
Elections in America are not the dramatic swings that many assume. Given that there are only functionally two parties, there are few, if any, new territories for either to explore at this point. Currently, Tea Party candidates and followers are getting a lot of press coverage. The luminaries, such as Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell are getting more news coverage than Super Bowls. In reality, the Tea Party movement is nothing new. Every seeming “change” in political culture has a negative reaction soon after.
Every election changes the guard
Virtually all presidents sees a majority of the other party elected at some point in their tenure and a swing to the other side among voters. In the 1960s, Republicans had a similar fervor to the current Tea Party, reacting to civil rights legislation and protests, Social Security, as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Every objection leveled at Democrats now was said then, so nothing Sarah Palin has to say hasn’t been heard before. Granted, Barry Goldwater was probably a little more eloquent and certainly more interesting. Reagan had a Democratic majority Congress to deal with. President Clinton had a Republican majority almost his entire tenure. President George W. Bush saw a Democrat majority elected in his second term.
There should be no surprises
Political trends wax and wane. The Tea Party has nothing new to offer and has nothing to say that wasn’t said long ago. The proof is going to be in the pudding. The last far-right presidential candidate was Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator with a mile-wide Libertarian streak, and he was soundly beaten by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. It almost makes one wonder if it isn’t a rigged game.
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