". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party

We went to a Tea Party yesterday--our first one. The day couldn't have been more lovely. Blue sky, 90 degrees, gorgeous.

According to the Chicago Tribune, there were about 500 attendees. I'm terrible at estimating numbers and distances and such, so I don't know if that's an accurate count. Here are some crowd shots. What do you think?

The speakers for the event included former Republican gubernatorial candidates Adam Andrzejewski and Dan Proft and Culture Campaign president and FOX News contributor Sandy Rios. Dan Proft was my personal choice for governor in the Illinois primary. Here's a shot of him speaking to the crowd:

On the way to the demonstration, I tried to explain a little to my son Evan about what we were doing. Not an easy thing to explain to a 6-year-old. It boiled down to something about government wanting to take our freedom and money so they can have more control. I told him about the Boston Tea Party but I don't know if he got that part. But something sank in. After we had been at the Tea Party a little while, he was saying he was tired and ready to go home because he was feeling "government sick." Aren't we all.

One of the warm-up speakers was a 19-year-old firefighter. I am sorry that I didn't get his name, but one of the organizers talked about having met him through his Facebook page and being very impressed with his intellect and writing ability. He was an excellent speaker as well. He talked about having just come from another Tea Party in Rockford and how as he was arriving in Naperville his thought was, "We aren't in Rockford anymore. Man, you guys have some nice stuff."

This morning as I was looking for reports on the tea party we attended, I came across a falsified write-up by a citizen reporter on a CNN site. I couldn't believe the untruths. It was completely made up and included the requisite description of "angry white people." Well, yeah, there's anger. I know I'm angry at what is happening to my country. But anger was not the prevailing mood. Instead, there was hope, love of country, determination, and optimism. There were parents, children, teenagers, working people, and retired people. And they weren't all white (although white people were the majority).

Here's a close-up of one of the angry mob. He's a handsome one, isn't he?

There was one counter-protester that I saw early on, walking around with an anti-Bush sign. The crowd essentially ignored him until he interrupted one of the speakers and was booed.

There was also an infiltrator. About halfway through the rally there was a lull, as the final two main speakers were running late. To fill some time, an impromptu speaker was allowed to come to the microphone. I don't remember who he was or if the organizers said they knew him. But it turned out to be a mistake to let him speak. He began by talking about the government radios that the Nazis provided citizens during WWII, and how those radios were a tool of political indoctrination because they only gave the government side of things. Then he started rattling off a list of conservative talk radio and television personalities. The crowd was cheering the names and probably thinking, like I was, that his point was going to be that these people help provide the balance to the American mainstream media that are so skewed to the liberal perspective. But as he wrapped up his list it became clear instead that he was comparing the list of names he had just recited to the disinformation apparatus of the Nazis. He was quickly asked to leave the stage, and he did so without resisting. The event emcee handled the faux pas well, saying that we don't have to agree with him but he has a right to his opinion.

This should go without saying, but the comparison is completely illogical. A better comparison would be to sites like Yahoo, where many people in this country get their "news," not realizing that their information source is biased and selective.

A few more pictures. I was glad for the fountain, which kept Evan entertained for a while.

We ended up leaving before it was over, due to Evan's government-sickness and everyone else's schedule demands. But it was a great afternoon and I'm so glad we went. As I posted on Facebook yesterday, in home school we spent April 14 learning how to file our taxes, and April 15 learning how to protest them. What a country.

One thing I couldn't help noticing as we walked the few blocks to our car was the business parking lots. Notice the empty spaces. Remarkable, don't you think, that none of the protesters decided to "borrow" those spaces? They must have a healthy respect not only for the rule of law but also for small business. What a surprise.


Cate said...

The mischaracterization of the Tea Party movement is one of the grossest things I have witnessed in our country's media that I can ever remember, but certainly in our recent past.

Good for you all for going!

Caitlin said...

I look . . . young . . . in that picture at the fountain. I don't know why. Maybe because my hair is short.

I like it. :)