In an attempt to become more educated about the Tea Party movement, I searched the Internet for the words “Tea Party Platform”. Google cheerily reported it had found 12,500,000 results. Daunting to say the least, but organized by relevance so I should be able to find what I want somewhere on the first page of results.
The first link is called “Tea Party Platform”, and takes me to a site called “TeaParty-Centrists.com”. This offers a book to download called “The Giant Is Awake”, which sounds quite a lot like those things the Jehovah’s Witnesses hand out – so I declined the offer. A thorough search of the available links leads to nothing like a party platform.
The second link is “JoinTheTeaParty.us”. It features a form that allows one to purchase lapel pins, car license frames, buttons, and “Your Name Printed Proudly And Permanently On The Historical 10 Ft New Contract From America We Present To Congress For Them To Sign Every 9/12”, in order of donation amount. They are asking from $100.00 to $5,000.00 for this last premium. Still, no link to anything resembling a party platform.
The third link looks promising as it is “TeaPartyNexus.com”, and of course a nexus will be a central repository of all things Tea Party. But this is a blog written by someone named “smarquez”. And it features a phishing form where one can reveal friends’ email addresses, for the purpose of spamming them I suspect. Again, not a hint of a party platform.
But the next link is the jackpot – it must be, as it is “TheTeaPartyPlatform.com”. What could be more straight forward? But again it’s a blog, this time by someone calling themself “ThePatriot”. And it features a prominent ad for t-shirts, mugs, and other Tea Party merchandise. I wonder if this merchandise is licensed from the “official” Tea Party, if it exists. But from the continued lack of any kind of party platform, it doesn’t seem to.
I could go on like this for pages. There seems to be no official presence for the American Tea Party anywhere – although there are numerous state-level organizations, sometimes several for a single state. It appears the Tea Party has a lot of t-shirts and mugs to move, but very little in the way of a clearly articulated agenda.
It seems as if the Tea Party is a further conservative wing of the Republican party. The structure seems to go, from left to right:
Liberal Republicans (never observed in nature) -> Moderate Republicans -> Conservative Republicans -> Tea Party.
What do they talk about when they get together? Their only agreed agenda seems to be they don’t like anyone else, even other Republicans, and certainly not those they designate “Republicans In Name Only” (apparently all Republicans to the left of the Tea Party), and definitely not the commie socialist untouchables that aren’t registered Republican.
When someone votes for a Tea Party candidate, what are they voting for? It seems even the mythical Tea Party can’t answer that.