Scenes From An American Disaster: Tea Party Convention Attendees Speak

Last week, the group Tea Party Nation organized the first Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., a for-profit event. Some 600 people paid $550 to attend, and Sarah Palin was reportedly paid $115,000 to the be the keynote speaker. After criticism of the convention’s cost, for-profit status, and payment to Palin, multiple national Tea Party organizations withdrew their participation.

But the event went on.

And so did the paranoid, conspiratorial assertions–that President Obama was born in another country, that he has covered up his college transcripts, that he is pushing a communist/socialist agenda, that he is protecting terrorists and endangering our country, etc.

The organizers of the convention made great efforts to limit access to the press, and even held “new-media training” sessions to help the Tea Partiers sound and look better on camera–the more people see inside this movement, the less like it. But we got ourselves into the event, where the right-wing, fringe sentiments were on plain display.

That said, these Tea Partiers–able to pay the cost of attendance–are more affluent than those at the 9.12 DC March, and more self-conscious of they are portrayed in the media. There were fewer signs and homemade t-shirts here, but the attitudes, if more subtle in delivery, were the same.

This New Left Media film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera).

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57 Responses for “Scenes From An American Disaster: Tea Party Convention Attendees Speak”

  1. Eric says:


    1. Maybe that’s why they needed a bailout. because nobody bought their cars because they made them poorly. You may be able to abuse the system for a short while but eventually if a company like gm did that, they would be run out of business.

    2. Conservatives do not want bailouts. Let me remind you that democrats came up with the “Bush Bailout” and bush simply signed it. There are a lot of people that claim to be conservative but aren’t. I think that’s how you view all republicans.

    3. I’m going to pull a Jason here and say. Wellfare and Unemployment benefits are not the same thing. Unemployment is a temporary thing so you can survive until you find another job. Welfare is for the lazy who don’t even try to get a job(or a better job)


    I’ve already stated that socialism and communism are not the same thing however they do share a collective tendency. This collective tendency that they share is more than enough reason to use them in this argument. Obama wants more government programs. Programs cost money. Taxes will need to be risen somewhere. Where is the line drawn at too much collectivism? I don’t know but it has to be drawn somewhere.

    If I’m so uneducated, can you please define both communism and socialism for us all and then tell me exactly how they are both not collective in nature?

  2. Eric says:

    Also Jason,

    I’m not denying bulk from the last eight years. You need to stop assuming Bush is a model conservative.

    How can you hate bush for bailouts and big government and then love Obama for doing it? Obama is just a worse version of Bush in lots of cases.

  3. dobropet says:

    I would agree that Democrats fostered the bailout and Bush signed it but I would argue that the “bloated government” you speak of Matt came from decades ago when the Federal Reserve was created, and also during the FDR administration, the policies envoked within those years lead considerably to our bloated government.

  4. dobropet says:

    A reference I like to use:

    But I truly believe that the Fed was complicit in the size and debt for our government, as this would ensure their grip on the economy.

  5. president101 says:

    If they were traditional tea party-ists they would have separated themselves from both parties. What a joke.

  6. Mitchel says:

    I hope the government will preserve the values and faith as a Christian nation as it has been founded. It has been denied now by many Americans.

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