In 2009, I attended one of the early Tea Party protests, and reported that while the crowd was engaged and animated, I wasn’t entirely sure that its members and their agendas were conservative. My conclusion:
I believe the Tea Party movement is a healthy and worthwhile development. But is it conservative? It is good for the people to sometimes shake their fists at The Man, and The Man should take it seriously. Politics necessitates compromise, but I wonder if the people at the Tea Party want the same things, or want enough of the same things to cohere, and to cohere in a movement that is recognizably conservative. And if they do want enough of the same things, I wonder what those things are — because I was there, and I am not sure.
Given the position of Donald Trump going into today’s election, I think I am starting to get an answer to my question.