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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of the reactionary right in the United States. It seeks to provide a better understanding of what motivates the reactionary right, and how such motivations inform the policy preferences and behavior of its constituents. However, the paucity of data restricts the analysis of the reactionary right to a fifty-year span, from the 1960s through the Tea Party. It begins with an overview of reactionary thought, including a brief history of reactionary movements through the mid-twentieth century. It then conducts an assessment of the immediate predecessor of the Tea Party: the John Birch Society. This is followed by an analysis of the contemporary reactionary movement in the United States: the Tea Party, and the movement responsible for the election of Donald Trump. The conclusion also briefly touches upon the continuities (and discontinuities) between the Tea Party and its European counterparts.

Keywords: United States, radical right, right-wing movements, reactionary right, Tea Party, Republican Party, conservatives, reactionary right, John Birch Society, Donald Trump

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