News / USA

Tea Party Offers Risks and Rewards for Republicans

Grass-roots conservative activists with the so-called Tea Party movement are on their way to Washington in a national bus tour.  Tea Party supporters launched their tour with a series of rallies in Nevada and Arizona.  VOA  attended some of the recent rallies and has more on what the Tea Party activists want and what their impact might be in U.S. congressional midterm elections in November.

Tea Party supporters tend to be conservative.  They are largely white, middle-aged or older, and have a deep suspicion of government.

They also tend to be very critical of President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

"Socialism and tyranny, despotism, communism, and a closet Muslim," Rusty Green stated.  He travels the country attending Tea Party rallies and selling anti-Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts.

"I believe in maximum freedom, minimum government.  The government should be controlled by the people, not the people controlled by the government.  That is what the Tea Party is about in my mind," he added.

Green was among thousands of people who attended a recent Tea Party rally in Searchlight, Nevada.  Searchlight is the home of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, and Tea Party activists used the rally to call for his defeat in the congressional elections coming up in November.

The Tea Party movement takes its name and inspiration from anti-tax protests of the past, especially the Boston Tea Party in 1773 when American colonists threw tea into Boston Harbor as a protest against taxes imposed by Britain. 

Tea Party activists do not like taxes, government spending or the Obama health-care plan.

But they do like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. "And we are not going to sit down and shut up, and thank you for standing up!" she said.

Many in the crowd at the rally in Searchlight held signs urging Palin to run for president in 2012.

But most of the local Republican politicians who attended the rally were hoping to draw Tea Party activists into their campaigns.

Sharron Angle is a Republican running for the Senate in Nevada. "The Tea Party movement is like me.  They are just sick and tired of the way that the government has taken their Constitution and dragged it through the mud," she said.

But some of the Tea Party supporters are critical of the Republican Party for not doing more to control government spending when it held the majority in Congress.

Harris Holler came to the Tea Party rally from California. "I believe that the Tea Party movement is more aligned with the Republican Party, but I also believe that a lot of us people who are Tea Party-goers are not necessarily saying we are going to vote for the Republicans automatically.  It is just not there," Holler said.

Nevada Democrats are closely watching the Tea Party movement, trying to gauge its impact on this year's congressional elections.

Democrat Paul Schmier does not like what he sees. "I feel their violent attitude is not healthy for anybody, Republican or Democrat," Schmier said.

Political analysts are divided about whether the Tea Party movement will become a political party to compete with the Democrats and Republicans.

"They have kind of realized that the third party route is not a winner.  So I think you have seen this more or less agreement among the different groups here that we are going to try to remake the Republican Party, starting at the grass roots," David Damore explained. He is a political scientist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Experts say Tea Party activists could complicate the November congressional elections if they run their own candidates to compete with Republican and Democratic candidates.  Analysts say that would likely take votes away from Republicans and help Democrats.

"If they were to operate outside the framework of the Republican Party and run their own candidates, then that would be a problem for the Republicans," Peter Brown, Quinnipiac University pollster stated. "If they participate in Republican primaries, then that necessarily could be a help to the Republican Party."

In the meantime, conservative Republican candidates across the country are eagerly trying to embrace the Tea Party movement and tap into its energy, hopeful that enthusiasm will bring them victory on Election Day in November.

Related Report by VOA's Kane Farabaugh

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid