Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tea Party, July 4

I went to the nearest Tea Party I could find on the Fourth, which happened to be Jamestown, North Dakota, pop. 15,527, about 30 miles west of me.
Oddly, I didn't find any mention of one in Fargo - though there was a Hot Air Tour there on June 23. As far as I know, I was the only media person at that one. I did get there about a half-hour after it started, so some might have come and gone by then.

See: http://hotairtour.org/

There were at my count about 77 people at the Tea Party, including the kids. One of the organizers told me there was more interest than that, but a lot of people were out of town on the Fourth.

There was a fair amount of cars and bikes passing by honking their horns and waving.

As the march started shaping up I got a call from a friend in Oklahoma City. He said he was at the OKC Tea Party in front of the state capitol building, with about a thousand other people.

Folks, something is happening in this country. Jamestown impresses me even more than the much larger demonstration in OKC. When ordinary people start gathering to demonstrate in significant numbers in small communities (as opposed to marginalized fringoids gathering in major urban areas) it means something.

Now let's see what kind of media coverage the Tea Parties around the country get. When the MSM is made uncomfortable the sequence goes:
1) militantly ignore
2) ridicule
3) slander

They went from 1 to 3 pretty quickly on this phenomenon, which itself ought to tell us something.

Now here is something interesting about the Tea Party movement. Google "Tea Party" on the Internet, and you'll find a number of different sites, with different URLs. The various sites have state-by-state lists of planned Tea Parties - which to not coincide completely.

This suggests to me a movement so decentralized it has not yet developed a coordinating center, much less a national leadership. The hackneyed and much-abused term "grass roots" springs to mind.

I've sat in on meetings in Washington where a "grass roots" conservative revival was being organized within the Beltway from the gilded ghettos of D.C. think tanks, where there was nary a hint that anyone appreciated the irony of it all.

This could be the real thing, and if it can remain based in "flyover country" and avoid being taken over by a central committee with a Beltway office, maybe...


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