April, 2010, New York Times survey of Tea Party supporters found that they skew toward male, white, and old. They live the legal, political, and moral authority of a patriarch. They demand to have their “country back.”
The tea party movement represents resistance to and resentment over waning power in rural America.
Obama is a symbol of a shift toward urban interests. Rural America senses that he represents a major shift in the political landscape, one that will no longer put the white male ‘farmer’ at the center of the American political landscape. Even though the majority of the population moved to cities long ago, the rural myth persisted in American politics. The small town values that politicians pay so much attention to is a reflection of this, and Obama is a signal that the special place rural America holds in American politics is coming to an end.