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Right-Wing Populism

Tea Parties, Right-Wing Populism, & Scapegoating

Tea Parties, Town Hall Protests, Glenn Beck posing as the Rev. Martin Luther
King, Jr.? What's going on here? Robert Reich explains:

Make no mistake: Angry right-wing populism lurks just below the surface of the terrible American economy, ready to be launched not only at Obama but also at liberals, intellectuals, gays, blacks, Jews, the mainstream media, coastal elites, crypto-socialists, and any other potential target of paranoid opportunity.

--Read the full essay
White Nationalism, Economic Fears, & Gender Anxiety:
Using Social Movement Theory with a Race, Gender, & Class Lens

Progressives need to understand the complex dynamics on the Political Right, from Palin Republicans, to Tea Parties and other right-wing populists, to armed citizens militias, to ultra-rightists and neonazis. It is up to progressive forces to engage in counter-recruitment that recognizes the real anger and fear of many middle-class and working-class White people, but redirects it toward constructive societal outcomes. This is not about attempting to recruit active leaders and activists already firmly involved in the Tea Party movement, but about challenging the Tea Partiers for the allegiance of millions of Americans angry at the status quo and justifiably fearful about their future.

How did the Tea Party Movement Emerge?

In 2009, the Tea Bag and Town Hall protestors, spawned as astroturf, morphed into a constellation of actual grassroots right-wing populist movements.

Election 2010 Editorial from PRA

Election 2010 Analysis from PRA

Useful Articles

Taking Tea Partiers Seriously.
Cover story in February Progressive magazine by Chip Berlet.


Chip's paper for the UC Berkeley Seminar on the Tea Parties

Tea Party Nationalism study by Burghart & Zeskind for NAACP

Take Action: Handouts


Significant Recent Critical Essays

Chip Berlet's Series on the Tea Bag Movement & Right-Wing Populism

Video & Audio Resources

More Details About the Tea Parties

More Resources

Take Action!

The anxieties of the Tea Partiers are not just about the economy, but also anger at dark-skinned immigrants, Muslims, gay marriage, abortion, and a liberal Black man in the White House. Progressives need to stand up and push back.

Sectors of the Right

The Patriot Movement

Other Right-Wing Backlash Movements

Tactics, Strategies, & Coalitions

Efffective Research Techniques & Resources


Take Action: Handouts

Right-Wing Populism

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