Washington Post writer Ezra Klein interviewed UW Political Science Professor Christopher Parker about his Tea Party research for the Wonkblog. In the interview titled "'People don't fully appreciate how committed the tea party is to not compromising'," Parker explains why labeling Tea Partiers racist, sexist and homophobic is not just an attempt to write them out of civilized discourse. Based on the survey and content analysis data collected for the book Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America, which Parker co-wrote with Professor Matt Barreto, Parker notes "whenever there's rapid social change it triggers this kind of reactionary conservatism" that we currently see. "People see their social prestige threathened, their way of life threatened. And they react." And while only about 22 percent of the country strongly supports the tea party, they are successful in driving outcomes "because they won't compromise."
The interview was published on The Washington Post's Wonkblog website on October 4, 2013.