Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.
Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings. Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more likely to be male and less likely to be lower-income.
In several other respects, however — their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.
For the last year the left has hurled insults and accusations at the Tea Party that range from childish to very serious in nature. Everything from Janeane Garofalo's calling Tea Partiers racists to Anderson Cooper's sexual innuendo field day after playing his first game of Halo 3 online.
Childish jokes are one thing, but any accusation of racism is serious. In America today there a few worse things you can be labeled. At least it was that way before the Democrats abused the word and left it nothing more than a shallow insult by using it against a group clearly not racist at all. Former President Jimmy Carter thought that "an overwhelming portion" of animosity against Obama was racist. California Representative Maxine Waters came to the conclusion that the media should probe Tea Partiers for racist thoughts. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island declared the Tea Party is filled with racists and birthers that only hate Obama because he's black. The list could go on to include Chris Matthews, Olbermann, Nancy Pelosi, and many others but the point is that racism became the primary weapon of the Democrat party against conservatives and the Tea Party.
I've pointed out in past posts that Democrats love using the race card since it's such a potent weapon, but I can't think of a time where its been used so often and so carelessly. When I got over my initial outrage I came to the conclusion that this blatant attempt at demagogue would not harm the Tea Party, but rather cause harm to the Democrats. I also personally think it harms race relations in America. Whenever you make it a "us vs them" and make it about race you inevitably do damage and set things back. Suddenly its "those racists whites tearing down our black president". Not that Democrats particularly care about race relations and bridging the gap. That gap is a means to an end for them.
When it comes to tolerance liberals are often portrayed as the ultimate force of tolerance, in contrast to the hateful conservatives. In reality that tolerance is nothing more then a means to an end, and the Tea Party is another example of how liberal tolerance only extends to those who they agree with. The argument generally seems to be that everyone who doesn't agree with them has some sort of phobia or mental illness that explains their "irrational hatred", and thus gives liberals the right to demagogue that person or group at will. Tolerant of everyone except those they perceive to be intolerant is a good way to phrase it.
Even more amazing then the constant and blatant hypocrisy is how well they can lie given how little evidence they have for any given argument. They claimed (and still do) that the Tea Party is a violent group one step away from committing a wave of hate crimes, and yet the two big incidents of violence in any of the Tea Party events have come from the left. Ironically the first attack was committed by union thugs who yelled racial slurs while beating a black man. Did this stop the Democrats from screaming that Tea Partiers were racists? Of course not. And the accusations of violence continued even after a conservative had his finger bitten off by a liberal. At least they're dedicated to their story.
This isn't even touching on a comparison of civility between Tea Partiers and the anti-war, anti-Bush protesters. That deserves a post of it's own.
As the Tea Party has gained strength Dem. politicians have toned their rhetoric down a notch, and even the media is slowly coming around, but ultimately liberals themselves have not changed. Spend some time watching comments in a political forum and sure enough there will be a liberal who comes in screaming that any conservative is a Tea Bagging, racist eager to shoot Obama and any other liberal they can get their hands on. It doesn't take a a psychologist to figure out that the level of hate these people demonstrate isn't an appropriate reaction, and that it must be something deeper than the things the Tea Party has done. It says more about them than it does about the movement.
I'll wrap this up on a happy note.