In the year since the Tea Party emerged through nationwide protests on April 15, it has gained acceptance and garnered criticism. The more the movement has grown, the more liberals and the mainstream media have tried to smother it. However, two recents events may alter the media’s perception of the Tea Party in a slightly positive way.
After months of slurs and accusations, liberals may have gone too far in their attempt to paint the Tea Party protestors with a racist brush. On March 20th, black Democratic Congressmen took part in a staged event, walking through the gathered Tea Party crowds, in the hopes that the crowd would throw out some racial slurs while numerous cameras recorded the event. Representative Andre Carson claimed he heard the N-word 15 times. Faced with this accusation, blogger and Acorn arch-nemesis Andrew Breitbart offered $20,000 to anyone who could produce a video of the event that proved Carson’s claim. No video has yet to be produced. When all else fails, make it up? This kind of lame attempt to smear a movement with legitimate grievances smacks of desperation.
Second, a recent Gallup Poll of Tea Partiers found that approximately 49% identify themselves as Republicans, 43% as Independent and 8% as Democrats. The Tea Party is starting to look a lot more like America.
While neither of these events will end the criticism and attempts to downplay the importance of the Tea Party, and nothing will stop MSNBC hosts from gleefully calling them “Teabaggers,” the liberals and the mainstream media just may be coming to the realization that there’s more to the Tea Party than right-wing extremists. The majority of the Tea Partiers are Independents and Democrats, Obama’s bread and butter. If they are joining the Tea Party movement maybe mocking isn’t the way to win them back. Maybe it’s finally time to listen to the Tea Party’s message?