Is the Tea Party just the Moral Majority warmed over?

I was reading an article about the 1980’s phenomena called the Moral Majority
It seems to me the Tea Party is just the Moral Majority brought back to life. What does the dope think?

Not really. They have some of the same elements and have some views (and members) in common but I don’t think it is the same thing at all. You are probably seeing the Religious Right aspect in isolation which is admittedly a large part of Tea Party but there are others. People like me who are true fiscal conservatives with liberal social views hoped the Tea Party would be viable to advocate for those issues. It hasn’t worked out that way in practice to date. The most positive thing you can say about the current Tea Party is that it isn’t as dysfunctional as the Occupy Wall Street movement is.

Both are grassroots organizations with little leadership or central control. That is completely different from the Moral Majority.

The tea party is neither tea nor is it a party.

Nah. Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

It has some common members and goals, I’d think of it like a Venn diagram.

Lee Atwater would have thought so;

The language of the tea party- tax cuts, states’ rights, “freedom of religion”, etc, is pretty much the same the Moral Majority used in the '80s and that underpinned the “southern strategy” back in the’60s.

Absolutely. Protestations to the contrary a HUGE, HUGE part of the emotional driving force motivating the Tea Party participants is pure, undiluted racial fury, and it is that force which welds together such philosophically disparate elements as the evangelicals and the little “l” libertarians whose baseline social philosophies are normally at some distance from each other.

I don’t think the Occupy wall street movement was dysfunctional. Ineffective maybe but not really dysfunctional as they had a cohesive ideology and seemed to have a realistic view of reality. The tea party is dysfunctional in the sense that they constantly primary candidates and put up candidates who can’t win in the general election, they decide it is better to win the battle even if it means losing the war. The OWS movement wishes they had that kind of power (to use primaries to move the democrats to the left). The tea party, despite only being 10-12% of the electorate, was (and to a lesser degree still is) a very powerful political force.

But again on the subject of dysfunction, fiscal conservatism is great in theory but terrible in practice. The vast majority of spending in the US goes to education, pensions for the elderly, health care, security/defense, etc. When you ask the tea party or anyone else to actually make cuts backed up with numbers they have trouble. People keep falling back on stupid things like ‘lets cut congress’s salary by 20%’ or ‘lets cut subsidies to NPR and PBS’.

There is evidence that the tea party and the religious right overlap, about half of the tea party is also part of the religious right.

But the religious right is about 20% of the electorate. The Tea party is only about 10-12%, so that means only 5-6% of the electorate is the religious right who are also in the tea party. So there is overlap, but it isn’t a perfect overlap.

Yep, I think they overlap to a huge extent. The religious right of the tea party are definitely the same breed.

I’ll grant you that little government libertarians may have aligned with the Tea Party or hoped that the Tea Party would be a majority of like minded individuals. But the reality is the religious right wing aka moral majority extremists are the vocal majority (and the nutjobs with the impeach Obama registration drive outside of Costco that features an Obama with a Hitler mustache poster).

Jerry Falwell and the moral majority were a largely unorganized mob aligned around “anti abortion” with an awful lot of racist, hard core conservatives. Not an organized party.

I came of voting age with the moral majority. My first rule of voting for or against a candidate is to “ratfuck the moral majority.” It’s been a compass point that has worked extraordinarily well for me since 1980. As I’ve matured, I added a second compass, which is "vote for anyone fiscally responsible (this does *not *mean “fiscally conservative” nor those that pay lip service to fiscal responsibility).

Don’t forget it was called the Silent Moral Majority. LBJ coined the phrase IIRC. Maybe because the Kennedys before him supported minority rights. Johnson saw the writing on the wall and dug in, entrenched, for the unspoken battle to come for white middle-class males. I think Congress is still struggling with that. The Tea Party actually think they’re radical, even as they collect their Social Security checks.

Missed the Edit window. Tea Partiers think they’re radical (misguided Freaks) and justified while collecting their Social Security checks.

Not much different from the Occupy groups, stuggling for survival, too, but who don’t get a cent. We all think we’re justified, on a sliding scale.

No, Occupy Wall Street was a flash in the pan and completely laughable from the start but especially now. Some members might have had some good goals but I am sure that you could find the same range of decent opinions at any random homeless shelter in America. This isn’t 1969 anymore and homeless neo-hippies without any intelligence or direction should treated like the trash they are in the court of public opinion and I believe they wee.

Fiscal conservatism fundamentally means responsibly managing money for the short and long term in everyone’s interests and it is the only long-term sustainable strategy. That is a full-stop statement and few people appreciate what that means. It means you don’t go too much in debt for the nation as a whole for any cause whatsoever and you never let any specific group take away wealth disproportionately from any other. It may even mean that your group has to pay for past balances that you, personally, didn’t incur but are essential to the long-term fiscal health of the nation.

That doesn’t mean that the rich only need to pay for it. Everyone needs to because that is the only way out. The middle-class and lower-classes have done more than their fair share to run up the national debt and put the long-term health of the nation at risk. If everyone gets a little poorer to pay it off somewhat slowly, we can recover in a decade or three. If not, the U.S. is at serious risk for a much more serious meltdown in the next 50 years. I know all about the banking tricks to delay the inevitable. They seem great if you are only looking at the short-term but not if you are young yourself or care anything at all about your kids or grandkids.

I have no idea whatsoever how a sane person could not be a fiscal conservative given what has happened in Europe in the last 5 years let alone throughout the world since time began. Please explain to me the alternatives and why those are better in the long-term.

Funny, because I was talking to my dad on the phone last night and when I said “teabaggers” he stopped me and said “Those aren’t ‘teabaggers’, they are the same “moral majority” that’s been around for 30 years under a different name.”

I guess if my dad were a Doper he’d vote in the affirmative on this one.

With all due respect, “fiscal conservatism” does not necessarily equate with “fiscally responsible.” I thought they were the same thing until Sam Stone disabused me of the notion (thanks Sam :wink: ).

Wiki’s take on Fiscal Conservatism: Fiscal conservatism is a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance. Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes, and other conservative policies are also often but not necessarily affiliated with fiscal conservatism.

As a Keynsian economist who believes the empirical evidence that Supply Side Economics is a complete crock (and I took a upper level economics class from one of Reagan’s supply side advisors Dr. Schnell at UC Davis in IIRC 192), I think that Fiscal Conservatism is not a good thing. Put me in the Krugman camp that we should have a stimulus package that would choke a pig instead of firing school teachers and letting our aged infrastructure rot for the “short term” risks.

While I can be persuaded that a balanced budget over a longer period of time, say a decade, could be a laudible goal. It’s a complete crock to compare running the US of A to a household.

Regarding “don’t go too much in debt for the nation as a whole for any cause whatsoever”, please show where you actually opposed the Iraq war and the off balance sheet leveraged debt financing at the time?

Edited to add that Ireland and the UK are pretty good real life arguments against fiscal conservatism.

The term was silent majority (no “moral”), and it was coined by Richard Nixon, not LBJ.

The Moral Majority had an ultra-conservative religious agenda. They cared about things like abortion, school prayer, sex education, the teaching of evolution in public schools, birth control, gay rights (they were against them). . . Economic issues such as tax rates and the national debt were not as important to them. And although I personally think Jerry Falwell was a jackass and I loathed his organization, I don’t remember them as being particularly racist.

The Tea Party movement has many social conservatives, and some of their views are similar to those of the Moral Majority. That doesn’t mean the Tea Party is “just the Moral Majority warmed over.” The Tea Party movement isn’t really a party, and it doesn’t have much central leadership, so one can’t identify their core issues with the same confidence that one can with the Moral Majority. Still, the Tea Partiers seem to be pretty unified on a few issues: taxes, the deficit and immigration. They are less unified on other issues, although as I said, many of them are very socially conservative. Also, I would say that the Tea Party movement is, on the whole, more racist than the Moral Majority ever was.

What the Tea Party stands for is a mess.

Started out as a “little guy” movement to “take back” Congress from special interests. (Which in turn would allow smaller, more financially responsible government, lower taxes, more freedoms, etc.)

But then the Koch brothers and their ilk took it over and now it’s the voice of the rich and big business (under the usual disguise of terms like “job creators” and whatever they call “trickle down” nowadays).

I.e., pretty much the opposite of how it started out. The majority of Teabaggers are of course clueless as to what happened. But some have caught on so that’s one (of many) components to the splintering of the various groups.

The Moral Majority was formed in the early days of the current Republican-Fundamentalist alliance. So the economics side of things wasn’t a big part of the MM platform. It was social issues plus a heavy dose of patriotism (this was a continuation of the Vietnam era “My country right or wrong.” theme). Jerry Falwell was very big on flag pins.

The most fiscally conservative thing we could do for America to keep our long term debts and deficits down is rebuild our health care system from the ground up to make it as efficient as what they have in Europe and Canada. If we were only spending 8-11% of GDP on health care instead of 18%, we’d be in much better shape. We have something like 100 trillion in liabilities over the 75 year horizon, of that about 60-80 is health care related. To date the only state that is even attempting that is Vermont, but under Vermonts reforms their health care system will be 20-30% cheaper within 10 years after their reforms are enacted in the next few years.

I’d take meaningful health reform over a more progressive tax structure. But we are going to need higher taxes (probably across the board) and meaningful health reform to get our deficits under control. Those two solutions (meaningful health reform based on a european model and higher taxes, preferably progressive but if needed across the board) are both popular liberal solutions to the deficit. And they would help keep our country solvent in the long term .

The tea party, on the whole, doesn’t support either (meaningful health reform that will lower costs appreciably that will likely require gov. involvement or higher taxes). The fact that they call themselves ‘fiscally conservative’ is just a smokescreen, their real agenda is shrinking government. It is a goal (one I don’t agree with), but it is not the same thing as fiscal conservatism or making a legit effort to balance the budget.