The Tea Party has felt more akin to the Republilcan Party. But, nowadays, they are getting more seasoned about the Republican Party, and may, at some point, want to strike out on their own. The Tea Party may be crude and somewhat disorganized, but they are all we have to challenge a monolithic Federal government. Tea Partiers have watched from the back row as the slow creeping statism, of the paternalistic variety, has changed America for the worse. The Republican establishment has not been able to stem the tide. Tea Partiers see corruption, both intellectual and common, go unchallenged, by anyone. Now the Tea Party sees the passing of the middle class, and high economic concentration that has produced distorted wealth.
The Republican establishment is a book of failures. Republicans have lost debate after debate since World War II. Republicans run their campaigns on the size and power of the Federal government, but it continues to grow even when they are the domninant party. With a few exceptions, Republicans have taken a walk on cultural issues or white-flagged them. The national debt exploded in the 80’s when Republicans held power for the most part. If you consider the Tea Party as a part of the Republican Party, you have to concede they have recently been the conscience, conviction, and backbone of the party. Establishment Republicans care about power, which is often unused, underused, or sometimes, misused , and of course, the upcoming election.
Given the present economic and wealth disparities, worldwide, the establishments cannot stop populists’s movements. They are gaining in Europe. Some populist’s movements in Europe want to break up the European Union. So, populist’s movements in America may not always be called the Tea Party, but they will be called something. The last time I looked the Republicans and Democrats, combined, did not reach 50% of those eligible to vote. That leaves a lot of room for a viable alternate party.
If traditional parties continue to lose support, which I expect, they might need to merge in order to survive. All Democrats are not socialist. Likewise, all Republicans are not philosophical conseratives, or even cultural conseratives. So, there is working affinity among these diminishing partiles. Suggesting this type merger might happpen could gt you “looks”, but l think it a reasonable scenario. They would be the status quo party, which they really are already. Of course, they would be heavily funded by the status quo beneficiaries.
Change, which is inevitable, will come from populist organizations and movements, which are not so encumbered buy power and wealth. It’s our history! In America, change comes from third parties. For our time, populism is on the ascendency. Count on It.