Is the Tea Party Movement an Astroturf Operation?

Topics: Tea Party protests, Barack Obama, United States Pages: 4 (472 words) Published: March 19, 2014

 

 

Moritz
 Haegi
 

Is the Tea Party Movement an Astroturf operation?
You have heard of them, you have seen them on TV, you know that they believe Obama is a “socialist” and “worse than Hitler”1 – the Tea Party Movement. After the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the new president of the United States, multiple grassroots organizations emerged, seeming to be a legitimate safe haven for the losers and disillusioned of said election. If one digs deeper though, into the nature of the Tea Party Movement it seems rather bizarre, that, according to an article from the Huffington Post2, an UCSF study, has shown, that in 2002 an organization called Citizens for a Sound Economy, already tried to start a nationwide Tea Party Movement, buying the internet domain www.usteaparty.com. The owners shut down the site in 2011, but luckily everyone leaves their traces online. ( http://web.archive.org/web/20020913052026/http://www.usteaparty.com/ ) Surprisingly enough, in 2004 Citizens for a Sound Economy split up into two organizations, those being the two main Tea Party Movement funding organizations nowadays, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity Foundation3. All of the three organizations were established by the Koch Brothers, infamous representatives of the corporate elite, and according to Forbes.com the 4th richest Americans as of September 2013, with a net value of 36 Billion US dollars45. It seems to be an obvious contradiction, that an ostensible grassroots movement is funded by corporate moguls, who are contra-government as well, but definitely not for the same reasons as the grassroots basis of the movement. Considering this discrepancy in between the different levels of the Tea Party Movement, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there have been numerous accusations of the movement being solely an Astroturf operation. The term Astroturf derives from the world of sports, meaning fake grass. In the political context it means fake grassroots,...
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