If you want to understand the Tea Party movement you should read Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America
by Senator James Webb of Virginia:
The Scots-Irish (sometimes called the Scotch-Irish) are all around you, even though you probably don’t know it. They are a force that shapes our culture, more in the abstract power of emotion than through the argumentative force of law. In their insistent individualism, they are not likely to put an ethnic label on themselves when they debate societal issues. Some of them don’t even know their ethnic label, and some who do don’t particularly care. They don’t go for group-identity politics any more than they like to join a union. Two hundred years ago the mountains built a fierce and uncomplaining self-reliance into an already hardened people. To them, joining a group and putting themselves at the mercy of someone else’s collective judgment makes as much sense as letting the government take their guns. And nobody is going to get their guns.
Webb wrote in a WSJ article*:
The Scots-Irish comprised a large percentage of Reagan Democrats, and contributed heavily to the “red state” votes that gave Mr. Bush the presidency in 2000. The areas with the highest Scots-Irish populations include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, southern Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of California, particularly Bakersfield. The “factory belt,” especially around Detroit, also has a strong Scots-Irish mix.
These are my people – I am descended from redneck dirt farmers in Kansas and Oklahoma. There ain’t no royalty in my bloodline. At one time in my life I even lived in a single-wide mobile home. Yep, I’m trailer trash.
But we aren’t entirely unique – there are millions of Americans descended from the poor commoners of Europe, Mexico, Central and South America. These are places where the land was owned by aristocrats and the commoners worked the land or lived in the margins – the hills and swamps. They didn’t emigrate to the United States to get rich, they came here to make a living and to be left alone.
Mackubin T. Owens:
These are the “red state” voters. They are family-oriented, take morality seriously, go to church, join the US military, support America’s wars, and listen to country music. They strongly believe that no man is obligated to obey the edicts of a government that violates his moral conscience. They once formed the bedrock of the Democratic Party—from the time of Andrew Jackson until the Vietnam era—but they have been moving to the Republicans since then. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Webb called the Scots-Irish in America the “the secret GOP weapon.”
These people aren’t “country club” Republicans like the Bush family, they are the rank and file voters and they are the core of the Tea Party movement.
Filed under: 2010 Elections, 2012 Election, General, Sarah Palin, sexism and misogyny | Tagged: Sarah Palin, Tea Party Movement | 175 Comments »