While I was in Washington D.C. last week for Computers in Libraries, I met up with DBF and her sister, Eileen. DBF had flown in from a conference in Las Vegas, and we rented a car and drove to Eileen’s place in Baltimore. Spent a lovely afternoon on the deck (until the wasps drove us in) and had a lovely dinner. Great conversation, beautiful place, terrific food.
The next day, we became revolutionaries. We went to the Tea Party on the Mall.
It was a delightful experience. People were there from all walks of life. Truckers. The country club set. Vietnam vets riding Harleys. Chubby middle-aged women. Babies. Dogs. And, yes, people of color.
As DBF said, it had the feeling of a 4th of July fireworks in your small town. Except this was bigger than most small towns – they estimate that between 40,000 and 50,000 people were there. It was amazing to watch the crowd grow.
There has been some bad press about the Tea Parties, and frankly, I was a bit nervous about what we would encounter. There was no need. There was no nastiness, no racism, no vulgarity (save the one coached by Lord Monckton….but that’s another story. And was hilarious.) People were open and friendly and curious about everyone that attended. I met people from all over: Georgia, Tennessee, New York, California, Vermont, Iowa, Kentucky. All of them told me that they had come for the express purpose of attending the rally.
It was interesting to listen for what resonated with the crowd….and what didn’t. What did? Respect and support the military. Support the Constitution. Lower our taxes. Get the government out of our business. All of those got big rounds of applause. The rest of the stuff, the fringe pet subjects of various speakers, got polite golf claps.
I’m glad I went. I feel like I was part of something big, something fundamentally patriotic.
And for those of you that haven’t attended one of these in your town, I’d urge you to go. You might be surprised at what you find.