Essay about Origin Factors of the Tea Party Patriots

1257 Words 6 Pages
The Tea Party Patriots was one of the first SMOs to organize within the Tea Party movement, launching their website only weeks after the approximate beginning of the movement (Burchart 80). Due to this close timing, I will treat the causes of the Tea Party Patriots to be the same as those which galvanized the greater Tea Party movement. I will argue that grievance theory, identity theory, and resource mobilization theory best explain the origins of the collective action under the Tea Party Patriots, with the first two (which in this case are related) being the most effective.

A theory of mobilizing grievances is the most effective in explaining the origin of the Tea Party. Snow and Soule define mobilizing grievances to be those “shared
…show more content…
As President Obama introduced his economic stimulus package and what would become the Affordable Care Act, criticism of the scope of government became even more vocal (16).

Simple discontent doesn’t spark social movements, though; people need a push: some level of discontent and frustration must be achieved before there is action (Snow and Soule). The Tea Party movement likes to point at Rick Santelli’s February 19, 2009 “rant” broadcast on CNBC as the push that started discontented Americans organizing (Formisano 26). In the 5-minute speech, Santelli voices concerns shared by many Americans, criticizing policies that reward the “bad behavior [of] … the losers,” and he is met with applause from bystanders on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Santelli). Less than three weeks later, the Tea Party Patriots had registered their website and the Tea Party movement was fully under way (Burchart 80).

These Tea Party grievances are closely tied to the identities employed by the movement to garner support. The movement draws heavily from common American cultural identity, most obviously in the name it ascribed to itself. “From

Related Documents