A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the term “Tea Party” and how it was meaningless because it represented such a wide range of views. In my opinion the term had come to represent such a broad range of views that, in essence, it no longer represented anything.
I received quite a bit of negative feedback from that post. What some readers fail to realize is that there are members of the Tea Party who are neo-conservative, paleo-conservative, paleo-conservative, libertarian, and “independents.” Hardly is there a consensus of what policy is desirable!
A great example of the difference of opinion in the tea party is a simple example I ran across. If you took everyone in the “Tea Party” and showed them a billboard with George W. Bush on it and the words “miss me yet?” what kind of response would you expect?
I can guarantee you that there would be many who would think it is the greatest thing ever. On the other hand you would have others who would think, “wrong message, Bush was not conservative and we need to move away from Bush.” Finally you would have many who just shake their head.
One thing we must keep in mind is that in our winner-take-all system, the natural movement is towards a two party system. It is inevitable and hard (though certainly not impossible) to change this movement. When there is only two major political parties there will naturally be fighting within the party about what the party platform should be.
I think it is nearly impossible to deny that the Republican party has shifted (however slightly) away from the neo-con agenda and closer to the libertarian agenda. This is consistent with the winner-take-all model as the Republican Party must appeal to the growing small government/libertarian sect so that their party can win the majority.