The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog


According to a recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tea Party supporters believe in "authoritarianism, libertarianism, fear of change, and negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration:"

The study used polling of North Carolina and Tennessee, conducted by Public Policy Polling (D) in the Summer of 2010, and determined the cultural dispositions by measuring the responses of tea partiers to set questions. After PPP surveyed over 2,000 voters who were sympathetic to the Tea Party, researchers then reinterviewed almost 600 in the fall of 2010. Those interviews included everything from personality based queries like "Would you say it is more important that a child obeys his parents, or that he is responsible for his own actions?" to more political ones, like "Do you think immigrants who came into this country illegally but pay taxes and have not been arrested should be given the opportunity to become permanent legal residents?" The study also incudes interviews and short responses with ten participants at a Tea Party rally in Washington, NC.

In all seriousness, it's good that Prof. Perrin et al. got the data for this. For example, lest we confuse the Tea Party with latter-day Hamiltons and Madisons:

In our follow-up poll, 84% of those positive towards the TPM [Tea Party members] said the Constitution should be interpreted "as the Founders intended," compared to only 34% of other respondents. ... [But] support for Constitutional principles is not absolute. TPM supporters were twice as likely than others to favor a constitutional amendment banning flag burning; many also support efforts to overturn citizenship as defined by the Fourteenth Amendment.

In short: the Tea Party say they believe in the Constitution, but only the parts they like. In this way they carry on the populist, know-nothing tradition that has made America great since its founding.

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