Thursday, August 18, 2011

NYT OpEd: Crashing the Tea Party

Professors David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam wrote an OpEd in the New York Times detailing that the Tea Party movement is made up largely of ultra-religious conservatives who insist America is a “Christian nation:

Tea Partiers ... seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates.

...The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government. This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

...It is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose. While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics.

Now that America is catching on to this fact, the Tea Party people are much less popular than other groups who largely seek to mind their own business:

Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.

Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.

So, the Tea Party "movement" is now officially less popular among Americans than Muslims.

Ultra-right social conservatives often accuse "liberals" of undermining the Christian nation values.

But leading conservative strategist Karl Rove called the notion that the U.S. is a Christian nation “offensive” during a Fox News interview. “We are based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, we derive a lot from it, but if you say we’re a Christian nation, what about the Jews, what about the Muslims, what about the non-believers? I mean, one of the great things about our country is that the first amendment gives you right to believe or not believe as you choose."

No comments:

Post a Comment