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Opinion Letters Tea Party leader had facts wrong

President Chapman of the Local Tea Party recently had a letter published. The purpose of this letter is to “refudiate” the spurious statements she made regarding the core beliefs of the Tea Party.

While Ms. Chapman goes on at length to defend her Tea Party with zeal, one should question her proclamation that the TParty is a “political phenomenon of the 21st century.” Ms. Chapman, I was born at night, but it sure wasn’t last night. Tea Partiers are an old crusade in different packaging. How can you claim to be of the 21st century, while advocating the failed policies of the 18th century?

A study done by Notre Dame and Harvard University further illustrates the true “origins” of the TParty. The study took a representative sample of 3,000 Americans interviewed and compiled research on their political attitudes in 2006; and followed it until today. The result of this study was the ability to predict who would become TParty supporters long before this movement began.

Ms. Chapman described the TParty as independent and nonpartisan. The analysis shows that on the contrary that the TParty supporters of today were highly partisan Republicans, long before this movement ever took shape. The study goes on to show that the single strongest predictor of TParty support today is past Republican affiliation. This would then explain why the Macon GOP leader responded in defense of a letter directed to the TParty, not the GOP.

Another forecast that can determine TParty affiliation can be derived from what members have in common.

The overwhelming majority of TPartiers are white. When compared to other white Republicans, they have a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama became President; and they still do.

They were also disproportionately socially conservative in 2006; and still are today. The second-highest predictor of a TParty member was a strong urge back in 2006, to see religion play a major role in politics. To this end they continue these views.

Then as if on key, Ms. Chapman drops the “socialism” card, because everything the TParty disagrees with is demonized as socialist, Marxist, far-left, or foreign in its derivation. I assume this is why the TParty is pushing to privatize Medicare (a social program) into an $8,000 voucher system. A voucher for people over the age of 55, but for us Americans who aren’t as “seasoned” and the effects once the $8,000 is used-up, they have no plan.

The simple fact is that for years prior to now, the TParty has existed in one form or fashion. From McCarthyism and the John Birch Society in the past to the John Locke Foundation and the Americans for Prosperity today; all of these organizations play off of the xenophobic sentiments that still exist in our society. While these organizations proclaim the defense of “freedom” and “liberty” their actions undercut individual rights to freedom of expression or belief. They create a countersubversive tradition which casts the fears and insecurities of its members on others they demonize.

Justin Karr Conley — Franklin, N.C.

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