In today’s Mises Daily, the Mises Institute interviews Yuri Maltsev about his new book co-authored with Roman Skaskiw: The Tea Party Explained: From Crisis to Crusade, released in October by Open Court Press.
Mises Institute: What were the origins of what is now called the Tea Party movement?
Yuri Maltsev: As we explain in our book, the modern Tea Party movement began with a fundraiser by Ron Paul supporters on December 16th, 2007 (the 234th anniversary of the pre-revolutionary Boston Tea Party) and a backlash against the policies of President George W. Bush. This Tea Party fundraiser was followed by an even bigger one, the unprecedented Ron Paul “money bomb” of November 5th.
MI: Has the character of the Tea Party changed over time?
YM: Once the Tea Party proved resilient to criticism from both sides, numerous existing organizations and political careerists sought to join it, represent it, and/or influence it. There were pre-existing groups with over-lapping messages, other outraged groups searching in good faith to make themselves heard, and, of course, political opportunists seeking to either radicalize or co-opt the movement. A tenuous and perpetually shifting alliance formed between much of the Tea Party and parts of the Republican establishment. Three and a half years after Ron Paul’s Tea Party, Beck’s “Restoring Honor Rally” represented the most visible and publicized shift in the perception of Tea Party ideology toward social conservatism and a hawkish foreign policy.