New Article: When Fringe Goes Mainstream Again: A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Tea Party Movement’s Contract from America and the Republican Party Platform

I’ve published a new article in Politics, Religion & Ideology entitled “When Fringe Goes Mainstream Again: A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Tea Party Movement’s Contract from America and the Republican Party Platform.” It builds theoretically on a similar article, “When Fringe Goes Mainstream: A Sociohistorical Content Analysis of the Christian Coalition’s Contract With The American Family and the Republican Party Platform,” using a new case to suggest that external dissident movements demobilize when their ideas are incorporated into the mainstream (and that mainstream political parties shift to bring fringe groups under their umbrella in two-party systems like the one in the U.S.).

Here’s the abstract:

Successful social movements gain an inside voice and reshape the larger system from within. Knowing the extent to which the Tea Party movement has gained a voice within the Republican Party is vital to understanding the current state of party politics in America. This study analyzes the presence of the goals contained within the Tea Party movement’s Contract from America in the Republican platform, finding that each plank of the contract was represented in the 2012 Republican national platform. Increased emphasis on the constitution and fiscal responsibility did not come at the expense of the inclusion of social conservatism or religion. Placing fiscal conservatism within a context of morality and responsibility to God, the 2012 platform reveals a move toward the fusionism popularized by Reagan. The incorporation of Contract from America goals indicates assimilation of Tea Party ideology within the GOP, potentially precipitating the movement’s decline. By adopting Tea Party movement compatible ideology, the Republican Party shifted further right, possibly alienating moderate voters in the 2012 election.

You can find the paper here. If you don’t have access to download the article and would like to read it, let me know in a comment or via email (see contact page) and I will send it to you.

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