The Tea Party movement is dead. Locally, regionally and nationally . . . dead. Actually, Tea Parties were murdered by Republican political operatives who worked a huge scam.
- First, the Republican Party worked behind the scenes to convince local Republican supporters that they needed to form a “grassroots” Tea Party.
- Then, they harvested membership lists, email addresses, snail mail addresses, telephone numbers and the like from local Tea Parties.
- Armed with this contact information, Republican PACs and SuperPACs flooded local Tea Partiers with solicitations, asking for donations to save the nation from liberals, progressives, Democrats, homosexuals . . .
- The Republicans who operated these PACs lined their pockets, then, abandoned the Tea Party.
Here are the details.
As we watch the Republican Party tear itself to shreds over Donald Trump, perhaps it’s time to take note of another conservative political phenomenon that the GOP nominee has utterly eclipsed: the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didn’t die a natural death. It was murdered—and it was an inside job. In a half decade, the spontaneous uprising that shook official Washington degenerated into a form of pyramid scheme that transferred tens of millions of dollars from rural, poorer Southerners and Midwesterners to bicoastal political operatives.
What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement was drained of its vitality and resources by national political action committees that dunned the movement’s true believers endlessly for money to support its candidates and causes. The PACs used that money first to enrich themselves and their vendors and then deployed most of the rest to search for more “prospects.” In Tea Party world, that meant mostly older, technologically unsavvy people willing to divulge personal information through “petitions”—which only made them prey to further attempts to lighten their wallets for what they believed was a good cause. While the solicitations continue, the audience has greatly diminished because of a lack of policy results and changing political winds.