Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (Google eBook)

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Princeton University Press, May 21, 2013 - Political Science - 384 pages
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Are Tea Party supporters merely a group of conservative citizens concerned about government spending? Or are they racists who refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president because he's not white? Change They Can't Believe In offers an alternative argument--that the Tea Party is driven by the reemergence of a reactionary movement in American politics that is fueled by a fear that America has changed for the worse. Providing a range of original evidence and rich portraits of party sympathizers as well as activists, Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto show that what actually pushes Tea Party supporters is not simple ideology or racism, but fear that the country is being stolen from "real Americans"--a belief triggered by Obama's election. From civil liberties and policy issues, to participation in the political process, the perception that America is in danger directly informs how Tea Party supporters think and act.

The authors argue that this isn't the first time a segment of American society has perceived the American way of life as under siege. In fact, movements of this kind often appear when some individuals believe that "American" values are under threat by rapid social changes. Drawing connections between the Tea Party and right-wing reactionary movements of the past, including the Know Nothing Party, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, and the John Birch Society, Parker and Barreto develop a framework that transcends the Tea Party to shed light on its current and future consequences.

Linking past and present reactionary movements, Change They Can't Believe In rigorously examines the motivations and political implications associated with today's Tea Party.

  

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Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America

User Review  - Robert Nardini - Book Verdict

Parker (social justice and political science, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Fighting for Democracy) and Barreto (political science, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Ethnic Cues) posit that Tea Party ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION Who Is the Tea Party and What Do They Want?
1
1 Toward a Theory of the Tea Party
20
2 Who Likes Tea? SOURCES OF SUPPORT FOR THE TEA PARTY
66
3 Exploring the Tea Partys Commitment to Freedom and Patriotism
102
4 Does the Tea Party Really Want Their Country Back?
153
5 The Tea Party and Obamaphobia IS THE HOSTILITY REAL OR IMAGINED?
190
6 Can You Hear Us Now? WHY REPUBLICANS ARE LISTENING TO THE TEA PARTY
218
CONCLUSION
241
Appendix
261
Notes
307
Index
351
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Christopher S. Parker is the Stuart A. Scheingold Professor of Social Justice and Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of "Fighting for Democracy" (Princeton). Matt A. Barreto is associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, Seattle, and director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality. He is the author of "Ethnic Cues".