On Wednesday, CNBC’s Laurence Delevigne argued that the business community would put the final nail in the coffin of the tea party. “The recent elections underlined a growing tension in political money circles,” Delevigne wrote. “Business people are increasingly fed up with the activist wing of the Republican Party. It’s a trend that will have broad implications for next year’s midterm elections and the presidential race in 2016, experts say.”
According to Delevigne, the “business interests” are “rallying behind moderate[s]” against tea party favorites including Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).
For months, the media has suggested that the tea party is in its death throes. Yet the tea party has continued to win primaries and get out the vote. The truth is that while many members of the business community are anti-tea party, that’s because many members of the business community are fans of large, crony capitalist government. Wall Street heavily backed President Obama in 2008, before realizing its error; Wall Street heavily backed Mitt Romney in his primaries in 2012. The real problem faced by the tea party is that American business is largely set against traditional small government conservatism.
If that’s the case, tea partiers will need to begin focusing on finding their own patrons rather than relying on the tempestuous vacillations of the business people who beg at the door of the government. The tea party is almost solely grassroots-based; business interests have almost no grassroots organization. The Republican Party has for too long been run on behalf of business interests who favor candidates the grassroots hate; the minute that those candidates begin to flag, only loyal tea partiers stand behind them.
That means that the continued division between the tea party and so-called “business people” will threaten the possibility of conservatives winning higher office. Either the tea party will have to give up on its central principles, or the business community will have to embrace the notion of real capitalism rather than corporatism.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.