In just a few years the Tea Party has become a powerful force in American politics. But what does it really stand for? And who fills its ranks?
For her book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (co-authored by Vanessa Williamson), Harvard University's Theda Skocpol conducted grassroots interviews and visited local Tea Party gatherings throughout America.
She'll share the results of her research in The Tea Party and Civic Engagement in America on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Her talk is the 2013 Park University Hauptmann Lecture.
"In Tea Party eyes," Skocpol writes, "there clearly are important things the federal government does - including care for veterans along with the dispensation of Medicare and Social Security. Many are ready to support taxation for such worthwhile programs."
At the same time, she found, Tea Party activists tend to believe that the benefits of these programs should only be enjoyed by those who have paid their dues by having a job and paying taxes. Skocpol sees this belief not as an entirely new phenomenon, but rather an updated version of the very long-running theme on the right that "real Americans" should not have to pay for others.
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism combines fine-grained portraits of local Tea Party members and chapters with an analysis of the movement's rise, impact, and likely fate.
Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. Among her books are States and Social Revolutions, Bringing the State Back In, and Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.