The Tea Party movement appears to be a rather unique entity. There is much confusion as to the exact classification of the Tea Party movement. Are they a political party, an interest group, or a social movement? Even after countless internet searches a definitive answer was seemingly nowhere to be found. There are three possible classifications of the Tea Party movement that will be explored. As well as information on which of the three systems would be the more effective route for the movement to take and why that route would be the most effective. This should paint a clearer picture of the Tea Party movement and their actual classification. The first look will be at whether or not the Tea Party is a political party, an interest group, or a social movement. And then at what would have been the more effective approach and why that approach would have been more effective. The hope is that by the end of this, the reader will have a better idea of the Tea Party movement’s position as a social movement and why a becoming a separate political party would have been their most effective approach. Is the Tea Party movement a political party, an interest group, or a social movement?
Power and Choice: An Introduction to Political Science defines a political party as “a group of officials or would be officials who are linked with a sizable group of citizens into an organization. A chief objective of this organization is to ensure that its officials attain power and are maintained in power” (Shively, 2012, p. 251). The Tea Party movement clearly has a group of officials that they wanted to place into power. However, with no centralized leadership and little to no attempt to separate from the Republican Party one would be hard-pressed to argue them as a political party. Also, Ron Paul, who is often referred to as the godfather of the Tea Party movement, is currently running for the republican nomination. The... [continues]
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