- Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) answers the question (to paraphrase Francois Villon’s famous question “Mais où sont les neiges d’antan?” “Where are the snows of yesteryear?”) “where are the Tea Parties of yesteryear” in his book “The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America” (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., 272 pages, notes, index, $22.99). Quick answer: The Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Partiers have settled in, appeal to conservatives of both parties, and may be the key to Mitt Romney’s win in November.
Belonging neither to red states nor blue states, the Tea Party movement erupted onto the national scene three years ago with a mission to reclaim America, he writes. They have a caucus in the Texas legislature and they played a major role in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful attempt to foil a recall effort by liberals in the Badger State a few weeks ago. They’re past staging massive rallies — at least for now — and many of them are intent on joining forces with evangelicals — hence Brody’s coinage “Teavangelicals” — to deny Barack Obama a second term.
Brody: “In the span of one election season, the Tea Party gained popularity and notoriety seen only a few times in our nation’s history. At this pivotal point in our development as a nation, the Tea Party has come to represent individual freedom and the American spirit. Committed to values and integrity and aligned with most social conservatives, the Tea Party found a partnership in the evangelical movement, drawing in Christians from all corners of conservatism.”
Now, these Teavangelicals are poised to draw a line in the sand, Brody says. He profiles the players among the Teavangelicals and outlines the history and issues of this nascent movement.
Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are appealing to independent voters, but could the Tea Party folks, along with socially conservative evangelicals be another critical voting group that Obama, Romney and the mainstream media has overlooked?
Brody says yes, “Teavangelical turnout is the key to Romney’s political future.”
Brody explores Teavangelicals, the evangelicals that make up more than half of the Tea Party in his new book and argues they are much more important than most people know.
“From now until Election Day, Teavangelicals will be fully mobilized. This was not the case four years ago when the Obama campaign was too much to handle,” says Brody.
Brody argues Teavangelicals could:
> Hold the key to Romney’s election
> Help determine who he chooses for his vice presidential running mate
> Affect the convention
Libertarians and devotees of Ayn Rand aren’t going to be as big a factor in the November election as independent voters will be, Brody writes. Independents are the key to winning in swing states like Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, he notes. If asked about the atheist author of “Atlas Shrugged” many Teavangelicals are liked to respond “Ayn Who?” Brody says. The only “Rand” that excites them is Rand Paul. Ayn Rand — the author who has influenced many libertarians — doesn’t register on the Teavangelical meter. People like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul count more than doctrinaire libertarians, who don’t care about same-sex marriage (Teavangelicals do!) and are often disdainful of a country — Israel — that evangelicals love.
Brody writes (Page 174) that it’s important that Teavangelicals understand the still controversial Russian-born writer: “The very nature of libertarian thought and the Tea Party movement as a whole is derived from her [Ayn Rand’s] philosophies. Her view on objectivism sees the individual as the primary moral authority and leaves God entirely out of the equation. The dirty little secret is that this is indeed a conflict in worldview between Libertarians and Evangelicals. Because Ayn Rand is such an important Tea Party figure, evangelicals must be well informed about both the good and the bad in [Ayn] Rand’s concepts.”
Much of the book deals with both the mainstream media, which is the natural enemy of Teavangelicals, because liberal reporters are antagonistic toward religion in general and evangelical religion in particular, Brody says, noting that liberals and “progressives” in the mainstream media are more concerned about attacks on Islam than they are about attacks on Christianity and Judaism.
In this regard he points out that the reporters and talking heads of the mainstream media bestowed their love on the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last September, despite many attacks by a vocal minority with the OWS campers on “Zionists,” Israel and Jews in general.
On page 187, Brody writes that his CBN colleague Paul Strand witnessed this left-wing anti-Semitism at the OWS site “first hand when he ran into self-identified Communists who burned a dollar and then stomped on the American flag. They exclaimed that the American flag ‘represents true evil for me.’ Another guy told Strand that the Jews were to blame for the financial crisis: ‘The Zionists are unscrupulous in their ways, unsavory. They commit more white collar crimes than any other ethnic, religious group.'”
“The Teavangelicals” is an important book, whether you support the movement or not. Ignoring Teavangelicals is not an option for those who want to gain favor with independent voters, a significant percentage of the potential electorate.
About the Author
David Brody is the Chief Political Correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network and his interviews with the top political figures in America can be seen nationwide on The 700 Club. Brody hosts a TV show called The Brody File, which features his interviews with top newsmakers and takes a deeper look into the intersection of faith and politics through a Christian worldview. Brody is a graduate of Ithaca College and lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife of 22 years and his three children. His website:http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/
For more of Brody’s views as posted at the Huffington Post, click:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-brody/mitt-romney-and-the-teava_b_1605726.html