Tuesday 15 January 2013

Why the Tea Party is breaking apart

On Three Worlds (the campaignstrategy.org blog), Chris Rose reports an analysis by Pat Dade showing that America’s right-wing Tea Party (the Republican party-within-a-party) consists of two very different wings, libertarians and religious conservatives. Antagonism between these two groups is causing a sharp drop in support.

The two groups have very different values:
The Libertarians... scored highly on power, achievement, pleasure and self-direction, whereas the Religious Conservatives scored highly on benevolence, tradition, propriety and security.
What unites them is narrow: a rejection of fairness and universalism (a belief in the universality of the human experience and a consequent belief in human unity and solidarity). It is perverse that what unites them is opposition to values that are central to Christianity.

The Three Worlds post ends by noting that the differences between Britain’s two coalition parties are just as great, but this misses a more pertinent point: the division within the Conservative Party. Since the arrival of Margaret Thatcher, a more libertarian group primarily concerned with market forces and individualism has supplanted a more traditional group primarily concerned with upholding tradition and community. So much so that it is questionable whether the Conservative Party can any longer be accurately described as a ‘conservative’ party.

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