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SteepThe Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party$
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Lawrence Rosenthal and Christine Trost

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274228

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274228.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Reframing Populist Resentments in the Tea Party Movement

Reframing Populist Resentments in the Tea Party Movement

(p.47) Chapter 2 Reframing Populist Resentments in the Tea Party Movement

Chip Berlet

University of California Press

This chapter argues that Tea Party advances its agenda using the historic rhetoric, tropes, and frames of right-wing populism, especially the narrative called “producerism.” In right-wing producerist movements, activists tend to perceive their political adversaries through the lens of fear-based dualism (self versus other; us versus them) and demonization of the “other.” They claim their opponents threaten the very existence of the nation. In the Tea Party movement, these views are intertwined with long-standing right-wing conspiracy theories about liberal betrayal. In an effort to mobilize its members, the Tea Party movement largely has adopted fear-based frames and narratives in which liberal and left ideological opponents are demonized and scapegoated as consciously or unconsciously destroying the America of liberty and freedom.

Keywords:   Tea Party movement, conservatives, right-wing populism, producerism, fear-based dualism, liberals, right wing, conspiracy theories

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