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.
Original Publication Information
Coker, C. "Recasting the Founding Fathers: The Tea Party Movement, Neoliberalism, and American Myth." 2017. Speaker & Gavel, 54(1): 52-70.
Coker, Calvin, "Recasting the Founding Fathers: The Tea Party, neoliberalism, and American myth" (2017). Faculty Scholarship. 764.