Editorial – Tea Party a viable alternative?

The recent growth of the Tea Party movement has perhaps gone unnoticed by students immersed in a liberal arts college environment.

Yet the sheer number of people joining the recently–developed group is reason enough to take a step back and recognize the significance of a new party on the political scene.

According to CNN.com, the Tea Party movement’s approval rating is up to 37 percent, while the Democrats hold a 41 percent approval rating and the Republicans enjoy a 42 percent favorable rating.

In other words, over a third of Americans are sick and tired of both Democrats and Republicans, and they need somewhere to go.

That’s where the Tea Party movement comes in.

A shift toward an anti-tax, anti-big government mentality is on the rise. The majority of the party members are white males, most are conservative and most are well-to-do…no big surprise there.

The first Tea Party convention was held in Nashville in February; about 600 supporters attended. The main speaker, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, was criticized for receiving $100,000 for addressing the convention.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are fully satisfying the general populace, which means that citizens are looking for another option.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with a shift in American politics and party dynamics; however, the Tea Party movement appears to be comprised mainly of angry, frustrated individuals who don’t really have any substantial plan of action in mind beyond attending rallies and protests.

This lack of substance causes many non-supporters of the movement to ask why it appeals to so many.

The Tea Party is essentially filling a void that has appeared due to the lack of support for the two major political parties already in place.

This is a sign of the times; many Americans are dissatisfied with the current track the political sphere seems to be following.

Now is an ideal time for a new movement to really take shape, whether it is liberal or conservative.

If the Tea Party gets its act together and develops a strong set of goals and a plan by which to achieve them, the movement may well become a bona fide competitor in America’s established party system.

If not, the Tea Party runs the risk of not only becoming obsolete but also turning into a joke.