Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Tea Party, Alive and Well?
A few weeks ago I was invited on the Russ Clark Live and Local radio show to discuss the Occupy Phoenix event I attended. During that radio interview I was pegged as part of the 99%, for supporting the movement's freedom of assembly and right to free speech. After the interview I shared this blog's address with Russ in a final attempt to clarify my position. At the urging of Russ Clark, Colorado River Tea Party Chairman, I attended my first Tea Party rally. The event, on the 29th Oct. 2011, had former Sheriff Richard Mack as a guest speaker. I had heard of Sheriff Mack from groups such as Oath Keepers, We are Change, and from the Alex Jones radio show. My preconception of the CRTP (Colorado River Tea Party) was largely based on the fact that the chairman is also an on air personality at the local main stream conservative station. On the Russ Clark Live and Local Show I often hear Russ echo main stream "conservative" talking points. Therefore, I was intrigued that Sheriff Mack would speak in front of the CRTP.
The rally was set up across the street from Yuma City Hall. Atop a large crane the American flag was proudly displayed. Several booths were set up across from the stage, behind the seating area. The Tea Party attendees, about one hundred, were an older generation of proud Americans. Mr. Clark had bragged about rallies of thousands in the past, yet such was not the case during this particular rally. I expected more people being that a re-districting of the area was in progress and Sheriff Mack was a guest speaker...The leaders of the CRTP introduced themselves with a sense of pride derived from running their respective departments. Ginger Jane and I were told that we were the youngest couple they had seen, in attendance, in a long time. For the most part I admired the leadership's involvement and the pride derived there from. A few, however, had an air of "Big fish in a little pond". Arizona Senator Don Shooter exemplified this sort of ego in his introduction. He approached my beautiful G Jane and I, with a joke about her shoes, followed by his introduction "I'm Senator Don Shooter" as he handed me his business card. It is not a joke, there really was a pause, as if he was waiting for us to jump out of our seats and be amazed by his mere presence. Those of you who know me, well, can already picture my reaction. I gave him a thumbs-up and carried on, with out missing a beat, my girl did the same. [Side Note: Don't come at me sideways like you're so important and expect me to like you.]
The actual rally began a little late, but, it was worth the wait. After the national anthem and pledge of allegiance Sheriff Richard Mack was introduced. Sheriff Mack spoke of state's rights, individual freedoms, and other great liberty topics. As advertised in the CRTP flier Sheriff Mack was a powerful speaker and proved to be a great patriot. Unfortunately, his speech was cut short by Russ Clark. Not sure if it was due to time constraints or the fact that Mack mentioned We are Change. Either way it seemed like the wrong move, I could have listened for a couple more hours, the man is a genius. Sheriff Mack was followed by Don Shooter and Doug McKee.
Before leaving we were approached by Russ Clark. He was friendly and apparently happy to see us there. He asked "What did you think? We're not so violent after all?" Why would the "chairman" of any Tea Party group ask such a question?!? Apperantly, he still thought we were liberal socialists whom were critical of the Tea Party. He mentioned how some of our "Blogs" (referring to liberal and occupy movement internet posts) had a negative view of the Tea Party. My only question to him was "Have you read MY blog?" He replied no. Well, Russ just in case that by some miracle you happen to read this.... if your particular Tea Party group was any less violent it would be in serious need of a defibrillator. All joking aside, it was a great event which I'm glad to have been a part of. I encourage everyone to get involved, especially the younger generations, this group needs an energy infusion and revitalization.
Posted by Doc at 1:06 AM