The Spectacle Blog

Tea Party Succeeds as It Grows Unpopular

By on 8.17.11 | 11:52AM

Reihan Salam flags a New York Times op-ed in which two political scientists suggest that the Tea Party is increasingly becoming unpopular, and that people don't like it because it features visibly religious white folks. The authors also report, however, that Americans have been moving in an "economically conservative direction" over the past few years. In other words, they are missing the forest for the trees. 

Salam writes: 

If I were a non- or anti-conservative, I must say, I'd be far more concerned about this

The strange thing is that over the last five years, Americans have moved in an economically conservative direction: they are more likely to favor smaller government, to oppose redistribution of income and to favor private charities over government to aid the poor.

than I would be totally jazzed by the fact that a near-constant drumbeat of hostile coverage of the Tea Party movement has only yielded 40 percent disapproval. 

It was never expected that the Tea Party wouldn't be divisive. If they're winning people over to a small-government point of view, though, that is news.

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