To hear most liberals and left-wing media pundits describe the Tea Party movement, one would think the Third Reich has been resurrected in America. In reality, this anti-big government movement made up of mostly non-registered Republicans and Independents is exactly the right prescription for the 2012 election cycle.
After all, recent history has shown that non-affiliated voters tend to swing elections.
And if libertarian-leaning and former 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX) doesn’t throw his hat in the ring, the push for a Tea Party nominee will begin sometime early next year, given the current expediency of early state primaries. Congress will also have a new face in January, which will have many Americans hungry for a showdown with Washington’s liberal elite class that has been angrily swinging the wrecking ball towards the economy for the past two years.
There are a few reasons why a Tea Party-backed candidate should cause serious alarm within the Democrat ranks.
First, Team Obama realizes that the One’s poll numbers are hideous and that, because of Census reapportionment, Republicans-leaning states will gain a good chunk of extra House seats in time for the next election cycle.
The far-left media has unsuccessfully tried to convince Americans that the Tea Party had little effect on the midterm elections when the opposite is true. Recent polling data released from Rasmussen Reports indicates that most Americans believe the Tea Party will have a lasting grip on American politics.
Lastly, for the past several decades the Democratic Party has seen its once successful grassroots coalition slowly erode, mainly due to its ever-growing liberal wing, which has all but shut out moderates along with whites, rural voters and blue-collar workers. During that period, voters either switched parties or became unaffiliated.
So whoever is the 2012 Republican nominee will have an advantage among non-liberal voters. His or her message should be pretty clear: limited government versus unrestrained government, lower taxes versus higher taxes, and more private sector jobs versus higher unemployment and big union payouts.
If the GOP establishment thinks that non-affiliated voters have forgotten how much government grew under their leadership, they are doomed to fail. On the other hand, if Republicans in Congress can govern the next year and a half in accordance with the message that the Tea Party movement has been advocating, then Obama is more than likely a one-term president.
The Tea Party has proven it can raise a lot of money and mobilize large numbers of voters in a short time frame. If the marriage between the GOP and the Tea Party solidifies over the next 16 months, Democrats are in big trouble.
Ashley Stinnett lives in West Virginia, where he serves as an adjunct college instructor, writer, media and public relations consultant, public speaker and political commentator. He is a registered member of the West Virginia Associated Press, and is a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of the new book, “Grasping Appalachian Conservatism: How Not To Be Mistaken For A Latte Liberal.”