These are the final five out of 15 non-negotiable core beliefs of the Tea Party, according to www.teaparty.org:
"11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory."There is a differentiation between small, medium and large (corporate) businesses. Since wide gaps in income inequality exist, there cannot be an across-the-board tax on incomes, i.e., a flat tax. With the latter, taxes would be set at the same percentage ("fairly"), but unequally precisely because of economic inequality in the first place. A progressive tax system is better, but that has been violated by tax loopholes, offshore tax havens, corruption, etc.
A heavy progressive tax system would be an answer with the wealthy paying taxes on all their income by eliminating the "perks," a more fair setting of income tax brackets, a fairer change in threshold limits, and a fairer change in tax bracket percentages.
Tea Partiers who support the flat tax think this would be unfair. But their version of taxation is only fair in name, not going beyond simple percentages to consider various factors.
"12. Political offices must be available to average citizens."Another point anyone could agree on, but the appropriate skills/education should be a requirement.
"13. Intrusive government must be stopped."Intrusive in what way? Tea Partiers seem to demand this without looking at any specifics. Did "states’ rights" slave owners think that government was intrusive in freeing the slaves? Yes. Today, however, racist attitudes are a little more closeted. But, Tea Party racism is self-evident when it comes to the issue of immigration.
Government has a duty to support the public interest. That means promoting the general welfare, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, not support slavery, racism, and corporate crimes.
"14. English as our core language is required.""English Only" doesn't represent the multiculturalism in U.S. society. It can used as a means to promote racism. Tea Partiers don't realize that English is the major language spoken in the U.S.? And that immigrants coming into the U.S. learn English? What more do they want?
"15. Traditional family values are encouraged."Over the years, this has been a major issue for the right. But what kind of family values, specifically? Does it mean having to become a Christian? Human values are just as important as family values.
This is concludes the three-part article, "The Political Anatomy of the Tea Party."
A Final Summation:
The Tea Party movement has been described as a loose association of national and local chapters without a central or national leadership. The term "grassroots" has been used, but given the kind of funding it gets and from whom, e.g., the Koch brothers, and its right-wing leanings, the term "astroturfing", i.e., phony or artificial roots, has been a more accurate phrase.
Tea Partiers think of themselves as full members of the Republican Party, trying to save it from losing its "true" form of conservatism.
Professor Christopher Parker of the University of Washington conducted research on Tea Party supporters and found that they "tended to be more racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Obama" more than anything else.
One example of homophobia came from a former mayor of Troy in Michigan, Janice Daniels, who said, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there," referring to New York's act to allow same-sex couples to legally get married.
Robert Parry wrote a detailed piece entitled "The Tea Party's Legacy of Racism," describing the consequences of racism within U.S. history, and pointing out that today, "Tea Partiers' hatred of what they call 'amnesty' [immigration reform] is best understood as a recognition that many of those new citizens would have brown skin and likely vote Democratic, thus further diluting white power in the United States."
Parry adds that the right-wing itself "has rewritten the nation's Founding narrative," without any noticeable rebuttal from the media. The Tea Partiers' version of U.S. history isn't something that should be relied on for accuracy, given the politics involved.
The Tea Party is somewhat of an antiquated regression back into an already-dead past, of which it dwells in.
David Starr writes on social and political issues, national and international.