As Lori just pointed out, there are certainly enough reasons to unleash righteous anger at the mainstream media and their blatantly obvious attempts to either downplay, ignore, or insult those of us who attended Tea Party protests yesterday. But after thinking it over last night, I came to the conclusion that perhaps we have been too quick to judge our liberal brethren.
You see, being a Democrat and watching yesterday’s Tea Party protests is kind of like being a wholesome kid raised in a devout Fundamentalist Christian home and being forced to sit through a screening of an old Sam Kinison routine. How do you react when the very people and things that you have been taught are sacred and beyond reproach are ridiculed, criticized, and blamed for all the things wrong with our nation today? Of course liberals and progressives have been treating social conservatism, free market economics, and traditional Christianity this way for the past forty years. But being on the receiving end of criticism is a wholly new and completely unnerving experience for them.
There was a lot of Kool-Aid consumed during the 2008 election, a strange brew that transformed an inexperienced legislator from Illinois into an Übermensch the likes of which has never been seen in modern times: The Soul Fixer, The Healer, The Jedi Knight, The Light Bearer, The Messiah, The Leader God Has Blessed Us With, The One. He was to bring openness, peace, and unity. He was a “post-partisan.” He was to govern from the center, to listen to both sides and bring Americans of all backgrounds and ideologies together. He was to restore the dignity of America to the rest of the world. He was to heal the planet, to cool the atmosphere, to lower the oceans. He was to be adored and honored and universally loved. He could not fail.
How can the morality and certitude of the ideals emanated by a man of such transcendent power and glory be questioned?
See what I mean now? How can you help but not feel sorry for these poor people? Their worldview has been questioned, their Savior has been mocked, and their sacred ideals have been rejected wholesale by numbers of Americans that they still can’t comprehend.
What kind of numbers? Here in Oklahoma City, the rallies held during the past years by peace activists generally drew crowds of 100 – 200 people. Amnesty protests, end-the-death-penalty protests, and other social justice gatherings usually drew similar crowds. Not surprisingly, many of those attendees were part of our “professional social justice protester” group that you will see at every social justice protest. I’m not disparaging those folks; I know many of them and they are good, honest people who are passionate about what they believe.
But as I mentioned yesterday, our Tea Party protest drew between 3000 and 5000 attendees, and I’ll guarantee you that 99.9% of them had never been to a political protest before in their lives. A friend of mine who is into community organizing likes to say, “one person is crazy, but a hundred people is power.” Well, 5000 people is a lot of power.
Granted, different cities will have different turnout ratios for liberal vs. conservative protests. (Sheesh — did I just type ‘conservative protest’?) But it is undeniable that the Right is now a force that will need to be reckoned with, beyond ignorance and mockery. And liberals who have spent the last five months basking in the glory of “we won” are now scared. Big time. Somewhere behind closed doors, liberals are looking at photos of Cindy Sheehan’s much-hyped Crawford, TX protests and celebrity book signing, and then at photos of the crowds that attended yesterday’s Tea Parties, and then uttering a lot of obscenities.
So please be kind to the Left. In these days of frustration and panic, it’s the least we can do.