The Tea Party and current abuses
April 19, 2010 7:16 AM   Subscribe

To what extent is the Tea Party opposing current government overreach as distinct from potential problems?

I'm wondering in general about the War on Drugs-- it's expensive, highly destructive both inside and outside the US, and interferes with individual liberty.

On the small scale, this is at least imprisonment without a crime or possibly kidnapping, abrogation of contracts, and illegitimate taking of property.

I'd have asked about this on a Tea Party site, but the ones I could find easily seemed to be for people who were already allied with it.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz to Law & Government (7 answers total)
To clarify, are you asking about how Tea Partiers feel about The War on Drugs?
posted by lunasol at 7:35 AM on April 19, 2010

"The Tea Party" is a misnomer. It's more appropriate to call them the Tea Party movement, as it's a group of people who are united by an emotion, but not a platform. The only national voice that they appear to have at the moment is (sadly) Fox News, who is not interested in helping these people or trying to solve or understand their problems, but to generate as much outrage as possible amongst Tea Partiers to drive ratings. In that sense, Fox News (link) appears to be changing to or already taking a pro-legalization stance on marijuana, and so one could say that the Tea Party movement is also against marijuana.

But just in general, making any statement about Tea Partiers appears to be problematic. At best, you can say that they are angry/scared about the large size of the federal government. Anything beyond that almost certainly applies to only a portion of the populace.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:43 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ugh. Should read "also for legalization of marijuana" at end of 1st paragraph.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:44 AM on April 19, 2010

lunasol, I'm not just asking how they feel, I'm asking if they're pushing in a particular direction. I'm also suggesting that if they aren't pushing in that direction, maybe they should be.

TypographicalError, thanks for the Fox link, it's very cheering. I know they host Radley Balko, a strongly anti-war on drugs journalist, but I didn't know there was a strong general move in that direction.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:55 AM on April 19, 2010

You could very easily claim as an objective outsider that the Tea Party either has no overarching ethos, or that the policy-related views that it has make no sense.

"Get your government hands off of my Medicare" just about sums up the coherence of the movement's political message.

I'm not sure how they feel about the war on drugs, although I imagine that opinions are somewhat diverse, and certainly no more coherent than the group's stance on healthcare.
posted by schmod at 8:03 AM on April 19, 2010

The "Tea Party" movement is nothing more than a creation of Fox News and right-wing anti-tax advocates like the Americans for Tax Reform. Fox News provides a great mouthpiece to get people riled up over "wasteful government spending" while actually campaigning for a more regressive tax structure. Inasmuch as there is any "leadership", they couldn't give two shits about any traditional Libertarian-style arguments.
posted by mkultra at 8:17 AM on April 19, 2010

Yeah, I think it is a mistake to assume that what you see on TV is a political party. Typographicalerror is exactly correct- they have coalesced around an emotion, and anything beyond that is a generalization.

The folks who honestly believe in freedom and limited government probably would be more likely to be accepting of minimizing the war on drugs.

But the people who are reactionary/conservative (defined here as believing that the old ways were better) aren't going to like that idea. Their idea of freedom and limited government is warped; they don't mind restrictions and interference, as long as it isn't on them.

As for being a creation of Fox news and AFP, that isn't entirely right. These people are surely honestly frustrated and angry. AFP and Fox News and Limbaugh and the rest are simply fanning the fires and guiding and focusing the emotion for ratings and political power.
posted by gjc at 9:12 AM on April 19, 2010

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