Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System

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The riotous tea parties and angry town hall meetings of last summer took everyone by surprise. They shouldn’t have: populist movements have always arisen in times of economic hardship and uncertainty.So-called professionals in politics, business, and media have completely failed to comprehend the new populism and have dismissed it as marginal and extreme. The authors explore the broad-based nature of the new populist movement and explain how it is reshaping American politics—whether politicians and elite journalists like it or not.

The Tea Party movement is not a flash in the pan, as many have assumed. Nor is it a movement of racist rednecks and ignorant boobs, as its detractors have crudely suggested. To the contrary, it is an authentic grassroots movement of concerned American citizens demanding to be heard by an out-of-touch political establishment. Their concerns are real and their issues are legitimate. Moreover, the new populism is here to stay and it has already changed our politics for the better.

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