9/11, The Tea Party, and Trump: How did All This Happen?

I am looking into the relationship between the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, the rise of the Tea Party movement, and the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. Through this investigation I look to establish a connection between the events of 9/11 and the polarized politics, and strange election cycle we observe today.

Currently the scholarly discussion on these topics generally falls into one of two categories: papers that discuss 9/11 and its immediate implications, and those that investigate either the origins and politics of the Tea Party, or the role that such political movements have had in bringing Trump into his current position. Lacking in this discussion is any attempt at connecting these events to each other. With the exception of a brief aside in a single text, there is little to no mention of the role 9/11 has played in shaping the modern political landscape. In my RBA, I will look to establish a pair of connections: the first, between 9/11 and the Great Recession of 2007, and the second between pervasive Islamophobia, and the growth in the political power of the Tea Party movement. With these new links established, I will construct a more complete connection between some of the major events of the 2000’s by demonstrating how we can trace the roots of modern political trends back 15 years to one of the defining events in modern American politics.

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