What is it about President Obama that fueled the emergence of the Tea Party? Simply put, for the first time in American history, a president does not seem to share the vision held by most Americans about their country.
Obama was elected because of widespread support from Americans of all backgrounds. They voted for him irrespective of his skin color and his cultural background – and therein lies the problem. For many whites, there was a need, conscious or not, to assure themselves that they weren’t racists and that electing an unknown African-American with a strange name was not problematic but rather inconsequential.
The liberal-left media, for whom political-correctness is the penultimate commandment, bought into the Obama campaign slogans and neglected to examine every angle in search of the real Barack Obama. Rather than run the risk of feeling guilty for having violated its cherished commandment, it deliberately overlooked Obama’s associations with a racist and anti-Semitic pastor, a Palestinian/Hamas supporting professor, and a convicted ex-terrorist, to name but a few. Moreover, it failed to dig deep into his past, as it would surely have done with any white candidate.
Obama’s conciliatory keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, during which John Kerry was nominated for President, was how most Americans learned of his existence. In that speech, he presented himself as the epitome of the American dream: a son of a Kenyan goat-herder and a middle-American mother from Kansas, accompanied by all the familiar buzzwords such as “the Depression” and “Pearl Harbor,” and included the line, “believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.” And how about his parents, who “imagined [him] going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential.”
In his 2004 keynote address, Obama also appealed to the political center (while hiding his left-wing views) when he said: “Don’t get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect the government to solve their problems.” Really, Mr. President?
An August 2010 poll conducted by Democratic pollster Doug Schoen for the Independent Women’s Voice, notes a “fundamental realignment” as independents now lean to the right by 2 to 1. The survey asked Independents what changes they would like see made. The response list makes it clear: Decrease the size and scope of government, cut spending and taxes, balance the budget, reduce the federal debt, reduce the power of special interests and unions, repeal and replace the healthcare legislation, and decrease partisanship.
When asked whether the country is going in the right direction or on the wrong track, 70% responded that America is on the wrong track. The same question about the economy garnered a similar response – 68% felt the economy is on the wrong track. 81% felt that the government in Washington is out-of-touch with average Americans, and, when asked specifically about Obama, 55% had a total unfavorable view of him against 43% favorable.