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This article analyzes representative texts from the Tea Party Movement (TPM), a conservative American political movement, to demonstrate the TPM uses the myth of the Founding Fathers as an argumentative strategy to craft and justify a sanitary neoliberal political project. The necessity of such of a project lies in the underlying democratic crisis of neoliberalism, a crisis navigated by the TPM through strategic use of political myth. Neoliberal policies require, in many instances, democratic consent, though those policies often serve to disenfranchise many of the groups supporting them. This essay argues the TPM uses myth for the purpose of creating a salient group identity, recasting modern political conflicts, and articulating a political path forward. Finally, the implications of using political myth in contemporary politics are then introduced and discussed.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This Article is brought to you for free and open access through Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works at Minnesota State University, Mankato. It has been accepted for inclusion in Speaker & Gavel by the Editor and Editorial Board of Speaker & Gavel.

"Recasting the Founding Fathers: The Tea Party Movement, Neoliberalism," by Calvin Coker (

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Coker, C. "Recasting the Founding Fathers: The Tea Party Movement, Neoliberalism, and American Myth." 2017. Speaker & Gavel, 54(1): 52-70.