The Tea Party Movement

Topics: Tea Party protests, Republican Party, Democratic Party Pages: 4 (1204 words) Published: September 21, 2013

The Tea Party movement began on Feb. 19, 2009, when Rick Santelli, the CNBC financial journalist who reports from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ranted against the government bailing out homeowners who couldn’t pay their mortgages. The Occupy Wall Street protest got going two and a half years later, when editors at the anti-corporate Canadian magazine Adbusters were inspired by events in the Middle East to call for a mass demonstration against the financial industry on Sept. 19, 2011. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are two very different movements—with seemingly opposite views on almost every issue. Predictably, their views on education—and the government’s role in making it available to all—are quite different. Those origins tell you a lot about how the two movements differ. The Tea Party has remained a purely American affair, while Occupy Wall Street strikes a global posture. The Tea Party began spontaneously, when a guy on TV got mad about freeloaders. Occupy Wall Street was planned over email by experienced organizers. The Tea Party is a revolt of the haves; Occupy Wall Street a revolt of the have-nots. Yet there are points of commonality between them. Both are angry about what they see as economic unfairness—the Tea Party over deviations from free-market principle, the Occupiers over excessive adherence to it. Both are hostile toward society’s elite, and frustrated with the American political system. The Tea Party is all about smaller government and lower taxes, and their demands regarding education reflect that agenda. Major political candidates associated with the Tea Party have all been open about their desire to eliminate the federal Department of Education—and some go so far as to suggest getting rid of the public school system entirely. Publicly speaking Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul was one of the first Tea Party candidates calling for elimination of the Department of Education. Other politicians who have made that...
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