Key Concepts - "The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy"
"The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy: What Populism Means for Globalism" by Walter Russell Mead
[Page 2] The rise of the Tea Party movement has been the most controversial and dramatic development in U.S. policies in many years. Supporters have hailed it as a return to core American values; opponents have seen it as a racist, reactionary, and ultimately futile protest against the emerging reality of a multicultural, multiracial United States and a new era of governmental activism.
[Page2] It lacks a central hierarchy that can direct the movement or even declare who belongs to it and who does not. Aflluent suburban libertarians, rural fundamentalists, ambitious pundits, unreconstructed racists, and fiscally conservative housewives all can and do claim to be Tea Party supporters.
[Page 5] The Tea Party movement is best understood as a contemporary revolt of Jacksonian common sense against elites perceived as both misquided and corrupt. And although the movement itself may splinter and even disappear, the populist energy that powers it will not go away soon. Jacksonianism is always an important force in American politics; at times of social and economic stress and change, like the present, its importance tends to grow. Even though it is by no means likely that the new Jacksonians will gain full control of the government any time soon (or perhaps ever), the influence of the populist revolt against mainstream politics has become so significant that students of U.S. foreign policy must consider its consequences.
[Page 11] Tea Partiers intend to be vigilant to insure that elites with what the movement calls their "one-world government" ideas and bureaucratic agendas of class privilege do not dominate foreign policy debates. The United States may return to a time when prominent political leaders found it helpful to avoid too public an association with institutions and ideas perceived as distant from, and even hostile to, the interests and values of Jacksonian American.
To read the article in its entirety, go to: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67455/walter-russell-mead/the-tea-party-and-american-foreign-policy.