There ain’t no party like the Tea Party.

The Tea Party movement is not made up of brainless, racist homophobes. Rather, the group draws from a diverse range of people who all agree on one key point: government is too big. It does not align with any political party, does not focus on moral principles, and consists of many demographically varied groups.

The movement began to develop in the waning Bush years in response to deficit spending, and has blossomed since President Obama took power. Supporters note that large government creates large deficits, which lead to bankruptcy. After seeing the catastrophic financial failure in Greece it is only reasonable to protect the US from sharing this economically destructive fate. That’s why newly elected representatives for the Tea Party have promised not to increase the national debt by one penny. They favor stopping out of control spending, like ear marks, which funnel revenue to politically motivated side deals. They want no new taxes, and would like to see the tax burden on struggling families decrease. It turns out, when you actually look at the Tea Party, it isn’t such a monster after all.

The Tea Party crashed the party.

The Tea Party is the farthest right you can go in American politics today. Their vague calls for reigning in big government sound pretty good, but the devil lies in the details. The Tea Partiers that actually have specific ideas support eliminating social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obama’s recent health care law. These ideas would take away much-needed financial support from seniors, and leave the poor and uninsured without any medical care.

As if that’s not enough, they also want to do away with the income tax, kill the Federal Reserve and eliminate many other vital agencies. This would cut important programs that Americans rely upon for tangible support in hard times.

On a practical level, the freshman Tea Party politicians will act as an inefficient group of ideologues. They have preached a no-compromise set of values that could force congress into even worse gridlock than it’s already in.

Some of the Tea Party base is so out of touch with politics that they assume President Obama will terrorize the nation as a socialist dictator.