Short for Temporarily Embarrassed Aristocrat. This can mostly be applied to lay members of the Tea Party who have had it beaten into their brains by fox news that anything even remotely 'Socialist' or 'Left Wing' is evil, anti-American and unpatriotic.
These folks also believe that taxing the 'Job Creators' will kill the economy further despite the fact that due to numerous loopholes and tax breaks, many of these 'Job Creators' bay ZERO federal or state taxes. All of this is public record. Just look at the profits and tax returns of the top 20 corporations in America for your proof.
Lastly, a T.E.A. believes that by allowing the real Aristocrats to walk all over them, that they too will become part of the elite...but, like the so-called American Dream, it is just that: A dream. Many are also doing it for the sake of playing the FYIGM
card. This term originates from a quote by John Steinbeck.
person 1: "Do those T.E.A. folks realize they're being used?"
person 2: "Some of them don't care all that much. Those folks would do this just to spite anything or anyone that disagrees with them."
"Socialism never took off in America because the workers there see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." -John Steinbeck