Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jon A. Shields

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© 2012 Alex Curtis


The Tea Party is a highly publicized movement that has been met with both support and opposition but very little objective reporting from the partisan media. In 2009, amidst a financial crisis unlike any in recent history, a war being fought oversees, and a questioning of American values, this movement known as the Tea Party arose. Borrowing from the annals of history and staying true to the foundations set by the Fathers of our country, the Tea Party movement seeks to provide answers to the growing economic and social issues in the United States. The three core values of the movement are fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free market economics. Yet, the Tea Party movement, while seemingly logical and legitimate, was and continues to be, met with much criticism and combativeness. The frequent colonial dress and showmanship which characterizes their protests, the historical reference from which they get their name, and their strict adherence to the Constitution all seem to fuel the frequent trivialization of these self-proclaimed patriots and their movement, resulting in misconceptions and the stereotyping of supporters. But in a time dominated by sound bytes, tweets and headlines, the media can be deceiving. Therefore, as a young Government major intrigued by a movement that had so rapidly gained America’s attention, I set out to discover through interviews with real Tea Party members what the movement is really all about.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.