9/12 was a transformative event

Sometimes an event occurs which is transformative in a way that everyone who sees it or participates in it instantly is aware of. Yesterday's demonstration in Washington DC is one of those rare happenings in my opinion.

The Daily Mail said 2 million Americans participated.  My friend Charlie Martin extrapolated from the pictures an attendance figure of 2.3 million. Here is a time lapse of the parade portion of the event so you can get a feel for yourself of the size of the crowd. Whatever the actual number it is sure to be seriously underestimated by the Obama-besotted members of the press corps who are also likely to misrepresent the participants and their views.

But as a participant, I want you to know the attendees were wonderful people, civil and polite. They showed their respect for the Capitol and the event by leaving no mess behind when they were through, in marked contrast to the inauguration and the usual left wing demonstrations here.

The feeling I have is that this is a wretched political class, as full of itself as it is idea-less and talentless and the people know it. They are disgusted enough with the new American elitism to travel on their own dime by any means available to come here to let Congress and the President know that they will use every legal means at their disposal to overthrow them. And overthrowing them is precisely what they intend to do.

Congress is up for election in 2010. They can rely on the grossly inaccurate press accounts if they choose. But I'm telling them it would be a major error to do so.
- Clarice Feldman


We are witnessing a very rare phenomenon, the genuine, broad based spontaneous political movement with no visible charismatic leaders.

Right after the stimulus bill passed, I got an e-mail from a woman I had once met at a local Republican event inviting me to participate in a small noontime demonstration in nearby Asheville. A couple dozen people showed up with banners and American flags to protest the spending.  The person who had invited me was a concerned housewife.  When the local Republican Party showed up with refreshments, they were, for the most part coolly received. 

On April 15, I was at a much, much larger demonstration, organized in part by the same housewife, a veterinarian and a former sixties radical.  Perhaps as many as 1,500+ people showed up, again with homemade signs, American flags and now a large smattering of Gadsden flags.  A few local Republican elected officials showed up, but they were at the side of the crowd, not on the speaker's platform. We the People were the main event.
All around the nation, elected officials and pundits did not quite know what to make of the "Tea Parties" held on April 15.  Pajama's Media estimated that the total participation in large metropolitan areas and small county seats all around the nation may have been in the hundreds of thousands. 

On the Fourth of July, many of those who had organized the April 15 events, organized a further round of demonstrations. Later in July and throughout the August Congressional recess, further small demonstrations were held outside the local offices of Representatives and Senators.  When some Democrats packed their town halls with handpicked supporters, there were often demonstrations being held outside.
I was not able to attend the September 12 rally in Washington, DC.  I watched it on TV with several dozen other supporters at a local rally for those who could not make the trip.  As I review the accounts and looks at the images several facts are apparent.  Estimates as to crowd size vary by so much as to be meaningless, but the attendance certainly exceeded the organizer's expectations of perhaps 50,000. So many people showed up that they had to start marching early.  The staging area simply couldn't contain them.  

Once again, they brought their own signs, their own flags and their own unique attitude. They came from many states, many as from as far away as Texas and California.  The crowd also contained a great many immigrants who are upset that America seems ready to adopt the failed policies they had been trying to escape.  At its peak, it was wall to wall people. (Watch time lapse video,

Most significantly of all, those in attendance had not relied in any way on members of the current political class to get them there, nor had they showed up because their livelihood would be in jeopardy had they not agreed to demonstrate, as is the union way.   
As I read the many reports on the Internet, I think this one, from Mark Hemmingway at NRO, says it best  
"I asked one guy, who came up from South Carolina with 160 people on three buses, who put his trip together. He laughed and said, 'My neighbor.'" 
Washington, DC appeared to be a most neighborly place on Saturday.  
The political class often operates on the assumption that only those people who constantly tell other how smart they are actually are have brains. That if you don't relish life in the artificial confines of the District of Columbia and haven't come by to kiss their rings, you therefore must be lacking in the skills needed to govern.  Last year a young Governor who had been more concerned with raising her family than polishing her resume with the right schools and the right career path let the political class know that she was not in the least impressed with their inside the beltway criteria for leadership.  On Saturday a whole lot of people just like her showed up on their own time and their own dime to say it is time to end business as usual in the fetid, corrupt swamp that is Washington, DC.   
Everyone in the political class, journalists, consultants, elected Democrats and Republicans alike, needs to know this: Those countless little-known people who established the local e-mail lists, organized first one, then two, then three or more chartered buses, held sign-making parties and packed box lunches, are not going to go away any time soon. Continue to enact legislation that we cannot afford and they will be back, perhaps in even greater numbers.

The Democrats need to realize these demonstrators are beholden to no one. The Republicans need to realize that they still are not trusted.  Why should they be when each day seems to have another story of compromise on core principals and going along to get along with spending their children cannot afford?  

While the media is concentrating on the anti-Obama aspects of the demonstration, there was also a message to the Republican establishment: Lead, follow, or get out of our way.
Rosslyn Smith

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