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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid