Scott G. Nelson and Edward Weisband
A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
— Edmund Burke
The stakes involved in the deepening contestation over the budget before Congress are unimaginably high. Several critical issues are at the root of the current crisis. We must ask hard questions of those responsible for placing the country on such a perilous path, one that is capable of leading to a terrible economic abyss.
In recent years, conformity has emerged around a radical arm of the Republican platform called the tea party. The tea party’s roots go deeper in American politics than many realize. Its recent success is due in large part to the culmination of some disturbing trends in the U.S. economy. Most important among those trends is increasing inequality of many kinds, especially in income and earning potential. Also significant is access to affordable health care. Such inequalities are especially evident in Southwest Virginia.
Nelson and Weisband teach in the Political Science Department at Virginia Tech.