05 October 2010

So Much For Those Libertarian Tea Partiers

A new survey discloses that self-identified Tea Partiers identify strongly with the Religious Right. This finding belies some reports I've read recently that suggested that the TP movements, due to their focus on fiscal conservatism, would downplay "culture war" issues. It would also seem to dispel most remaining hopes that the TPs might nudge the nation toward a more libertarian orientation. I realize that not all libertarians are secular humanists, and the TPs surveyed remain more distrustful of government than Republicans in general, but it was probably the supposed libertarian sentiment of the early Tea Parties that created some early optimistic expectations. Historians might have liked to see a sequence of surveys from the early outbreaks of 2009 until now, to see how "Christian conservative" sentiment has fluctuated over the evolution of the TP phenomena. If the percentages seem alarmingly high now, they may have been less alarming a year ago or more, and the apparent theocratic bias of the present movement may signify a shaking-out process as disillusioned libertarians and other independents dumped their tea into the sink and left the parties to the reactionaries and the Republican clean-up teams.

I'm writing on the fly and haven't had time to look at the actual findings in depth, but here's the Public Religion Research Institute website for future reference.


Anonymous said...

That is not surprising. The rank & file don't want to actually have to think about things. They much prefer being told what to do....as long as it isn't a "liberal" or "elitist" that's doing the telling. How simpler it is to just lay it all in the hands of a non-existing being...

Belief does not require any training, any education, any thought processes whatsoever.

Samuel Wilson said...

I wonder whether such people don't prefer to believe in an omnipotent yet invisible lawgiver god just so they can deny that any human being has the power or the right to tell them what to do. And I wonder whether church pastors have much more luck than liberals at getting such people to do anything for the common good.