By John Hubbuch
I have long thought that the Tea Party is motivated by racism. Their over the top hatred of Obama, their opposition to immigration and policies to help poor people and the e-mails they forward to me all set off my racism detectors. Of course playing the race card is always tricky, especially if you're a white guy.
But Alan I. Abramowitz, a distinguished political scientist from Emory University has written a book "The Polarized Public?: Why American Government Is So Dysfunctional (Pearson 2013) . He performs an analysis of all the factors that make a citizen a Tea Party supporter.
He concludes: " These results clearly show that the rise of the Tea Party movement was a direct result of the growing racial and ideological polarization of the American electorate. The Tea Party drew its support from Republican identifiers who were white, conservative, and very upset about the presence of a black man in the White House-- a black man whose supporters were very different from themselves." To be fair conservative ideology mattered most, but "racial resentment and dislike of Obama" trumped age, gender, income, church attendance, even party identification.
So it looks like my gut feeling was right. It's always a good thing when the facts back up your bias.