Understanding the Tea Party Folks

I’m about to post some links to some videos by Bill Whittle from PJTV.

The purpose of this post is to help readers of InsideCatholic understand the Tea Party folks and their manner of thinking about government.

Why This Post?

First, a bit of justification: It is worthwhile and apropos to write a post at InsideCatholic helping folk understand the Tea Party because…

(a.) Deal’s references to a “Catholic Tea Party” make it relevant, if only to put context around the ongoing discussion;

(b.) The Tea Party phenomenon probably represents the most significant shift in the American political landscape since Ronald Reagan;

(c.) The Tea Party folks are (politically and otherwise) motivated by a philosophy or worldview which has public policy implications, just as Catholics are (politically and otherwise) motivated by a faith which has public policy implications. To the degree to which the Tea Party philosophy/worldview and the Catholic faith produce identical public policy prescriptions, they are natural allies and thoughtful Catholics may consequently find themselves at home at Tea Party gatherings…but only if they understand, and are not misinformed about, the Tea Partiers’ philosophy and worldview.

(d.) The mainstream media for the most part is directly hostile — hostile beyond recall, let alone consideration, of such notions as journalistic ethics or objectivity — to the Tea Party movement. Folk who have little direct contact with the movement but whose contact is entirely mediated by the mainstream media will hear no description or explanation of the Tea Party movement which would be recognizable to participants.

Why Bill Whittle?

Whittle is concise but often eloquent, passionate but clearheaded. His video opinion blogs at PJTV under the heading “Afterburner” are widely known and loved among the Tea Party folks. His perspective is squarely in the center of the Tea Party continuum, rather than slightly to the libertarian side (like his cohort Glenn Reynolds) or slightly to the cultural-conservative side (like his cohort Alfonzo Rachel). He is therefore a good representation of the Tea Party overall. And he is involved with PJTV, which is one of the primary new-media outlets for the Tea Party folk.

The Links

What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise

What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism

PJTV’s Bill Whittle: Fire Congress (a Modest Proposal)


Cord Hamrick


Cord Hamrick is a husband and father of three, raised an evangelical Christian in Southern Baptist churches. After years of lurking, questioning, and eventually opining in the Catholic blogosphere, he was received into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil, 2010. Cord is a sometime church musician, former praise-and-worship bandleader, frequent songwriter and arranger, occasional guitar teacher, and -- because one really must somehow pay the bills -- a developer of web-based software applications. He lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three kids.

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