The NY Times just did a poll on the 18% of the population who self-identify as "Tea Party." They are overwhelmingly white, male, over 45, and high income. What a shocker.
But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”
Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.
Others could not explain the contradiction.
“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”
In the 1930s, these same folk would have been out in the street protesting against Social Security. We forget that in 1965, they almost scuttled Medicare.
I think this whole movement is way over-analyzed. This group is the far right. It has been with us in one form or another since the Civil War. In my opinion, what it all boils down to is that these folks are upset because it just ain't a white man's world anymore. Tell it to Sitting Bull.
I'm going to go have a cup of tea now.