Michelle Bachmann is the representative in the House for Minnesota’s 6th District. According to CBS News, Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, is aiming to be elected to the fourth-highest Republican position in the House of Representatives. Although Jeb Hensarling has the endorsement of the projected new majority leader and the outgoing Mike Pence, previous holder of the GOP Conference Chair, Michelle Bachmann may end up with the position. Beyond the diversity she would create with her gender, Bachmann also has the support of the Tea Party in her favor.
Reported by USA Today, 3 out of 10 Americans associate themselves with the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party, mostly considered a far-right outreach of the Republican Party, has been gaining popularity across the country over the last year and a half. Conservatism, once synonymous with the entire Republican party, is now coming to represent supporters and candidates of the Tea Party ideology. What exactly does the Tea Party stand for?
In a CBS News poll, almost 90 percent of Tea Party supporters do not think President Obama is doing a good job in office. The health care bill is one of the main policies of President Obama’s the Tea Party stands against. Their main goal is to reduce the role of government in Americans’ lives and increase fiscal responsibility. Economic issues are often stressed more than social issues in importance. The Tea Party’s belief on social issues is slightly more extreme than the traditional Republican view.
The emergence of the Tea Party has created problems in the main Republican party. Moderate Republicans are separating themselves from Tea Party candidates and may eventually end up helping Democrats. The view of conservatism is becoming more stringent.
As an independent, I have mixed feelings about the Tea Party and growing extremeness of conservatism. I agree with the belief that government has become too involved in Americans’ lives and overextended its reach. Our country needs to implement fiscal responsibility. I have not been a fan of many of President Obama’s policies. The current path the country was on needed a detour. I don’t think, however, that the Tea Party holds the answers.
The Tea Party is too polarizing. It has an us-vs.-them approach which forces Americans with differing views further apart, rather than toward compromise. The Tea Party’s beliefs on global warming, as reported in the New York Times, also frighten me. Their complete concern with the possible economic ramifications of “going green” and lack of belief and concern for the environmental effects is scary. Their stance on many social issues is also too extreme.
Although the Tea Party is gaining popularity and did get candidates like Michelle Bachmann elected in the last election, I do not believe her placement into the GOP Conference Chair, if successful, will make a huge impact one way or another. The government is still balanced enough to prevent huge strides in one direction. In fact, the government will probably have trouble getting anything done with so many in government unwilling to make any compromises.
The Tea Party may eventually cause the undoing of itself. Michelle Bachmann and other Tea Party candidates are trying to wedge themselves against “regular” Republicans who may otherwise be their allies. By working so hard to demonstrate their new importance in government, the Tea Party may be ruining their chances of accomplishing most of their goals.