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The above photograph is from the 9/12 morning march, prior to the crowd gathering at the Capitol steps later.
On saturday, I attended the 9/12 Tea Party demonstration in Washington D.C. I don't know exactly how many people were there, but there were a ton of them, the biggest crowd of which I've been a part. I asked a security cop for a crowd estimate at 10:30am, and he said they were guessing 50,000 at that point. That was hours before the main event, which began at 1:00pm. The crowd got larger and larger throughout the day. The largest crowd I'd been in previously was 80,000. All I can say is, this crowd was bigger. I've heard the official crowd estimate was 60,000. That is WAY low from my firsthand perspective.
The protest was completely peaceful. I didn't witness nor hear of any violence, not that I expected any. These are not violent people. They are just regular American citizens who are very concerned over the direction of this country. They are specifically concerned over the growth of government over the past decade, and even more specifically concerned over the massive growth of government since Barack Obama became President. If I had to distill the protesters down to a short description, I'd say they were citizens who favor fiscal conservatism and liberty, just like I do. They believe in the founding principles of this country as embodied by the U.S. Constitution, just like I do. They feel those principles are under assault, just like I do. In other words, these were my people, and I am happy to see there are still so many of us out there.
There were people from all age groups, from all across the country. I personally met folks from New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, and Louisiana. Every single person I spoke to was very friendly and open. Of the ocean of signs being carried, I didn't see any with Nazi symbols or racist content (note - I couldn't possibly see every sign, but I must have read a thousand of them). The message from the most popular sign on display was simple and classic - DON'T TREAD ON ME. These are Americans who get what America is supposed to be about, who get what made America great, and who get why that is being threatened by our out of control federal government. These are Americans who know you're not supposed to spend money that you don't have. They want government spending to be scaled way back. These are Americans who know that this endless deficit spending and accompanying debt will bring this country to it's knees. These are mothers and fathers who know their children's futures are being ruined by this pervasive big government. These are Americans who don't want the federal government to run the health care system and mandate what health care services they can and cannot receive. These are Americans who know their inalienable rights come from our Creator, not from some government bureaucrat. These are Americans who know the government works for them, not the other way around. These are Americans who are insulted by all the lies being told about them by certain politicians and certain media outlets. Many of the protesters signs satirized these lies (i.e., "Mobster" t-shirts, "I am a rightwing domestic terrorist" signs).
Speaking of the media, I was standing pretty close to the CNN truck when a CNN reporter went on air with a report. The surrounding crowd began chanting "Tell The Truth," followed by "No More Lies." That tells you what these people think of the reporting from our alleged mainstream media. Btw, I didn't see any NBC, ABC, or CBS media. I'm not saying they weren't there, I'm just saying I didn't see them if they were. Fox News was there and covered the event extensively.
At the end of the day, when I got back to my hotel room, I flipped on the television and the first thing I heard was Democratic National Committee apparatchik Jehmu Greene talking about how troubling it was to see so many Nazi symbols and Confederate flags on display at the rally. In other words, Ms. Greene was calling the crowd a bunch of racists. I wondered what event she was talking about. I didn't see those things, and I wandered throughout much of that crowd. It certainly couldn't be the same rally I had just attended, which had nary a racial overtone and featured both white and black speakers. Sigh. The lies never stop. I'm sick to death of it. When the opposition resorts to such lies, it tells you an awful lot about the opposition. I suppose we'll see in the coming days just how awful they are.