Political Science

Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America - Updated Edition

    Afterword by
  • Christopher S. Parker
  • Matthew Barreto

How the political beliefs of Tea Party supporters are connected to far-right social movements


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Oct 26, 2014
60 line illus. 11 tables.
Political Science
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Are Tea Party supporters merely a group of conservative citizens concerned about government spending? Or are they racists who refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president because he’s not white? Change They Can’t Believe In offers an alternative argument—that the Tea Party is driven by the reemergence of a reactionary movement in American politics that is fueled by a fear that America has changed for the worse. Providing a range of original evidence and rich portraits of party sympathizers as well as activists, Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto show that the perception that America is in danger directly informs how Tea Party supporters think and act.

In a new afterword, Parker and Barreto reflect on the Tea Party’s recent initiatives, including the 2013 government shutdown, and evaluate their prospects for the 2016 election.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2014 Best Book Award, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association