Following the midterm elections 2010, a “grassroots” movement suddenly sprouted up in direct opposition to every aspect of the Democratic agenda. Known as the “Tea Party” in a shameless attempt to associate the movement with the ideals of the American Revolution, the movement was actually a product of the Koch Brothers and other hyper-conservative free-market fascists who poured millions of dollars into shadowy groups. Since then, their political brinkmanship has given us the legislative terrorists in the “House Freedom Caucus” and are responsible for the 2013 shutdown and the perpetual gridlock that has come to define Congress.
Their power may be finally waning, however. A new poll from Gallup reveals that support for the Tea Party has dropped to its lowest level in five years, dropping to just 17% of Americans after reaching their ceiling of 32% following the 2010 elections. While Gallup did not offer detailed explanations for the drop, one can only hope that the inability of elected Tea Partiers to achieve any kind of legislative progress at all and the increasing extremism exhibited by its members. Gallup also noted that the movement made be fading into irrelevancy, as many of the respondents had “no opinion” on the group at all:
While support for the Tea Party has not increased among any major subgroup since 2010, opposition to it has gone up among one — those with postgraduate education. In the earlier polls, 36% of this group opposed the Tea Party, and that number has grown to 53%. Meanwhile, opposition has dropped in a few groups — 18- to 29-year-olds, those with low incomes and unmarried females — because more in these groups no longer have an opinion about the Tea Party.
The Tea Party and their wealthy puppet-masters have much to answer for. They are largely responsible for the incredible polarization of American politics and their temporary influence was instrumental of dragging the Republican establishment over the cliff of rationality and into the abyss of obstinate extremism. It is gratifying to see their influence wane as the Republican presidential field implode in a whirlwind of intolerance and ignorance; perhaps one day we may be able to sit down with conservatives and have a reasonable discussion about the proper way to govern our nation and what kind of future we want for our people.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.