Here’s a segment of Real Time with Bill Maher where he explains why the Tea Party isn’t a movement, but rather a cult, and presents some pretty good arguments in support of this view:
As Maher starts off:
New Rule: Stop calling the Tea Party phenomenon a “movement”. To be a real political movement, you have to, well, move toward some specific legislative goal. The suffrage movement, for example, gave voting rights for women. The civil rights movement outlawed discrimination against Blacks. And the gay rights movement gave us the Winter Olympics.
Whereas, the only direction the Tea Party is aiming for is anything that gets them the furthest away from their chosen boogieman du jour – which is to say, anything at all that isn’t purely pro-guns, Jesus and stoppin’ dem Brownies from takin’ der jerbs!. The whole “movement” is really little more than an incoherent mess of various and conflicting ideals and goals, governed by an omnipresent fear of change and a deep-seated inability to part with old ways of tradition, no matter how woefully antiquated.