Many people identify the Tea Party with the religious right and social conservatism. A new study of public opinion suggests this common view is misguided. The Tea Party is united on economic issues, but split on the social issues it avoids. Roughly half the Tea Party is socially conservative, half is libertarian — or, fiscally conservative, but socially moderate to liberal. Understanding the Tea Party’s strong libertarian roots helps explain how the Tea Party movement has become a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party. Even social conservatives and evangelicals within the Tea Party act like libertarians. The Tea Party is upending the conventional wisdom that Republican candidates must placate socially conservative voters to win primaries. These surprising findings are sure to generate controversy and debate.
Featuring Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute; Spencer Ackerman, Senior Writer, WIRED Magazine; and Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
Featured PublicationWe are grateful to the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation and the Carthage Foundation whose support of the October 2012 Cato Conference “Europe’s Crisis and the Welfare State: Lessons for the United States” made possible this special issue of the Cato Journal.
May 23, 2013
May 23, 2013
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The Cato Institute tops a new measure of think tank performance in the United States, according to a recent report. Cato bested all other U.S. think tanks in the main category of “Aggregate Profile per Dollar Spent.” “I’m grateful to the Center for Global Development for showing that Cato gives its sponsors something I wish government gave more of to taxpayers: bang for the buck,” said Cato CEO John Allison.