The 2010 midterm election is looming over the Democratic Party like an acid rain cloud. The political fervor opposing it is led by a ragtag group of small-government enthusiasts called the Tea Party. In recent months the Tea Party has come into the public eye for its “radical” views on lowering taxes, cutting government expenditures and balancing the budget, albeit with mixed reviews. “Racist” and “homogenous” are common terms used to describe the Tea Party, though there is no evidence for this other than a few racially charged signs held by participants at rallies. No one is excusing those signs, but they do not define the movement. The Tea Party is defined by firm beliefs in fiscal responsibility, capitalist economic principles and patriotism. John Fund, a Wall Street Journal columnist who recently spoke at UNC, had this to say: “Even if you don’t agree with the Tea Party, what has happened in the last two years has been in the best of the American character. It has been remarkably peaceful and effective.” This is the perception that those who hold disdain for the Tea Party do not see. Instead, chumps like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews feed us lies about Tea Party members being “haters” and white supremacists. In reality, the Tea Party is bringing politics back to the common man and working to eliminate the elitist thought in Washington. For the first time in decades, there are “normal” people (who are not witches) running for powerful offices in the United States. The pool is not restricted to groomed political thoroughbreds. Any old mule can get it on the action. Even if the Tea Party fails at completely stopping the fiscal bleeding on Capitol Hill, they have already succeeded in engaging people in politics again.