The Tea Party Movement Is Destroying Democracy

1371 words - 5 pages

Over the last decade the United States has seen an unprecedented rise in minority rule. The Tea Party Movement has hijacked not only the Grand Old Party (GOP), dragging it further and further from the center, but also the national government as a whole. With 48 Representatives in the house and 5 Senators, the Tea Party Caucus has maneuvered to assault the legislative and governing power of the governing Democratic Party. Since their rise to national power in the 2010 elections, the Tea Party has led the charge for the 47 and counting attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, blocked countless Presidential nominees and ultimately held the responsibility for the Government shutdown of October 2013 . Our government has declined to its least productive level ever, with the 113th Congress passing fewer than 30 bills in the last year (Desilver). However, even with this horribly low efficiency of Congress and a dismal 28% approval rating for the Republican Party, the Tea Party Legislators and movement faces little to no repercussions for their roles. The advent of the political juggernaut known as the Tea Party is the result of decades of broken promises and fear-mongering by the political right, a lapse in campaign financing restrictions, and the growing power of the angry vote.
Politicians are famous and infamous for compromising. This dichotomy exists as a result of their dual roles: a representative fighting for their constituents and a legislator perpetuating government functionality. Although legislators must compromise in order to do their jobs, they never advertise their peacemaking ability in a campaign. Instead, rather than focus on the positives of their tenure, such as helping the government and bureaucracy function, politicians concentrate on the failures of their opponents, and pledge to fight and change them. However, once they win on this platform they head back to Washington and start compromising again! Over time, this becomes increasingly frustrating to their constituents, and leads to the creation of radical political sects such as the Tea Party. The past two decades have made major contributions to the frustration of far-right voters. First, Bill Clinton ran his conservative predecessor, George H.W. Bush, out of office in 1994 and enacted a number of liberal policies, largely ignoring the conservative legislators. Although this was frustrating for conservative voters, few found it surprising, and their candidates actually did continue arguing for their values. The real problems arose when George W. Bush entered office following the 2000 election, and engaged in two major foreign wars, spent a surplus into a record deficit, and passed Medicare Part D, which created a major increase in government spending (Wing). The candidate that they had elected, a republican who had promised to reduce the size of government and reduce spending had increased spending to record levels and expanded the size and influence of...

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