David Campbell, professor of political science at Notre Dame University, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on Wednesday titled, Crashing the Tea Party. He and his colleagues have been studying a representative sample of 3000 voters for the past 5 years. Campbell learned quite a lot, but his focus in this op-ed is the so-called Tea Party. It really is an expose’ of a group of far-right Republicans dressed up in ‘costumes.’ The hoods of the KKK come to my mind as I try to visualize the idea of a clutch of people pretending not to be obvious.
Campbell says, “Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.”
Thus, the facade that they are ‘independent thinkers’ is bull. They ARE the far right-wing of the GOP.
Additionally, Campbell found more characteristics of “Tea Party” members. “So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do. ”
Campbell also found that “Tea Party” types “want to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates.”
Well, well. My ‘journey’ into the right-wing blogs in the past several weeks confirms David Campbell’s findings. This set of bloggers fit each characteristic that he laid out perfectly. They are just bigoted, hard core right-wingers- a group of people who have been around nipping at the heels of minorities and immigrants for a hundred years or more. And quite the Bible-thumping bigots, too.
Back in the 1920’s these people wore white conical hats and white robes and taunted, hunted and killed minorities on Saturday evenings and then donned choir robes for Sunday morning church services. Today’s group dons Independence Era costumes, pretending to be uber patriots and outstanding citizens.
Professor Campbell, like Dorothy’s dog Toto, has now pulled the curtain back on these ‘patriots’ and has exposed this set of charlatans for what they really are. The ruse is over. White supremacy and racial intolerance in any costume is the same ugly mark and permanent stain on our democracy. We ought to refer to them by a more appropriate name from now on: Tea Klansmen.