A new Politico poll sheds some more light on the creation of this year’s political force, the Tea Party, and the ever-growing divide between libertarians and social fundamentalists.
As we’ve noted before, the Tea Party was originally more of a libertarian movement that drew many religious extremists to it as a way to show displeasure towards Washington. While at first there was an uneasy balance between the two factions, Politico’s polling shows just how deep the schism has become. While 88% of Tea Partiers believe the “government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses”, less than half- 48%- believes government should promote the so-called “traditional family values” pushed by social extremists. 51% of Tea Partiers don’t want government pushing any moral agenda. Only 50% named abortion as one of their top concerns, and 48% as morals in general as a political issue. In fact, when asked to rank abortion as what they are most or least angry about, it fell into the bottom 6 of the major “hot button issues” for the Tea Party. Additionally, more Tea Partiers confessed to sporadic attendance of church.
What this polling did show was where Americans are most concerned with the Government, and the driving force of the Tea Party. More and more Americans are worried about government stepping into personal matters and regulating more aspects of American life. Both parties are seen poorly by Tea Party members, with many of them seeming to hold the belief that the GOP lost its way when it came to protecting personal freedoms. However, it’s interesting that this belief seems so widely held when the social extremists who corrupted the GOP are now infiltrating the Tea Party- and trying to subvert their mission into one surrounding moral values.
We hope the Tea Party continues to hone it’s focus on what its members agree on, and so many Americans support: the idea that government is too big, too intrusive, and personal freedoms are in danger. To lose this focus would not only cost the Tea Party in supporters, but make it just as corrupted and contradictory as what it claims to fight in DC.