(Tony Warren) – You no doubt have heard varying reports on the Tea Party Express Searchlight event. I want to give you a report from someone who actually attended and has nothing to be gained or lost, personally or professionally from biased reporting. Just the facts and a few personal observations.
BY THE NUMBERS
From reports declaring “20,000+” to just a “Few Hundred,” a realistic number is very close to 10,000 attendees. If you include the people who set-up their chairs outside the event gate or were unable to make it inside, you can add another 5000.
Just about every State in the Union was represented as well as people several from countries including France, England, Sweden and Canada. Contrary to some idiot reporters who only see things in black and white, statements that the crowd was all white old people are misleading and incorrect. “Old white aged baby boomer people” like me probably did make-up half the crowd, but I guess the other half were invisible.
We must remember that the Progressive Democrats are the same group that gave us the KKK and they know very well how to play the race card. They have had over 150 years of experience to prefect it. Harry Reid is a perfect example. It was he who quipped to Bill Clinton that 10 years ago, Obama would have been serving them dinner and shining their shoes.
To someone who only sees in black and white, it is easy to see how they can overlook the people of Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Oriental and Native American decent who attended the event. (They all look the same to them.) Maybe Conservatives should use the Liberal Progressive trick of paying people to attend so it “looks good.”
I can’t blame reporters who see anyone over 50 as aged, dangerous, mad and useless. We do look scary and we don’t sport $200 haircuts. I guess we should call the biased reporting a result of sight challenged reporters. I trust Obama Care will correct their perception problems.
A FEW PROBLEMS
It is hard to imagine that 160 acres, half a square mile, might not be big enough to hold 10,000 people, their RV,s and cars, dogs, coolers and lawn chairs, but it was packed to overflowing. The smart people got there early and reserved good seating. Handicapped parking was available close to the stage. We were told where to park, but not where to sit. By some miracle, people set their chairs in what resembled rows but forgot there needed to be isles like spokes to a wheel. I missed my stage call for the simple fact that movement within the crowd was next to impossible. Everyone got their fair share if feet stepped on and showered spilled drinks, yet there were no fights or disturbances. That fact alone speaks well to the type of people who attended. We know how to make the best of a less than perfect situation.
It was obvious that this event was not professionally marketed or run. In true grassroots fashion, the size and needs of the crowd were underestimated. Outside the event, cars were were parked for miles in both directions along the highway, something the NHP has said would not be allowed. They announced that violators would be ticketed and towed, but I think they just gave up. There isn’t an impound lot big enough in Las Vegas to hold all the cars illegally parked, let alone in little old Searchlight.
People were still coming in even as the event was winding-up. There was nothing anyone could have done to prevent the traffic jam. If you have ever experienced rush hour traffic or a sporting event in a large city, this wasn’t too shocking. To the people of Searchlight, I’m sure they have never seen anything like this before. I’m so sorry for the people that didn’t get to see Sarah Palin speak and who missed the event altogether, but there was a schedule to keep and a limit to what could be done with the budget organizers had to work with.
Lines to the Port-a-potties were long. Gentlemen hiked a short distance to water the cactus while the more delicate ones and the ladies toughed it out in the long lines. I counted 20 blue rooms but there may have been more somewhere. even if there were 40, that means there was one for every group of 250. Still the only complaint I heard came from one of Nevada’s Senate hopefuls. I won’t mention his name but I do have a word for him… “Man-up!” Hold it or find a bush! I wish he was more like his father. Good grief. I guess he never went camping with the Boy Scouts.
AN EVENT TO REMEMBER
Sarah’s message was energetically received and had people standing and cheering. She spoke for 45 minuets and people wanted more. Her message had some in tears and it wasn’t just the cold that gave people goose bumps. Think what you will, love her or hate her, most people there knew we were witnessing something historic.
Sarah is as pretty as she is down to earth. You could tell that she would be comfortable and fit right into the crowd listening and cheering if she wasn’t on stage as the Tea Party Superstar. Show me a politician who knows how to change the oil in their own car and I will listen to what they have to say. Show me one that has never had the pleasure of doing that or wouldn’t know where to find the automotive department in a Walmart, and I will show you someone with no common sense.
The Tea Party Express people put on a great show, complete with songs and even a bit of an air-show with sky writing of patriotic slogans. Las Vegas’s own talk show host, Hedi Harris and other speakers advocated for more people to become politically active and get involved which I thought was great. There is a time to party and there is also a time for action. Some of the candidates did a wonderful job of electrifying the audience while others fell flat. Sadly, some did not get to speak and it would have been nice to hear from them all.
Our local media stars and the other speakers did a wonderful job of holding peoples interest and exciting the crowd. Two events planned for one day proved to be overly ambitious. Searchlight should have been a one day event by itself. There was so much packed into a few short hours. Hindsight is always 20/20. Having been to these before, I should have remembers to bring my sunscreen. I am now sporting a sunburn, or maybe a windburn that makes my face look somewhat raccoonish. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Young and old people of many races and places proved once again that they can tough it out in a cold dusty desert setting with hardly a cross word. This is the difference between Conservatives and Liberals. The lib’s reaction would have been rioting and burning lawn chairs, while demanding that more be done to accommodate their comfort.
Really, the only sour note of the day came from Harry Reid supporters who egged the T.P.E. bus as it drove by. They never miss an opportunity to prove that their combined .IQ.’s are just a tad below room temperature. I was happy to see a few vendors there selling coffee, snacks, water and the usual T-shirts and souvenirs. A special thanks goes-out to the Tea Party Express table selling hoodie sweatshirts. You saved my bacon when grandma, my better half, said it was too cold to get out of the car.
Could it have been better? Absolutely. Was the event successful beyond every one’s expectations? Yes and yes! Live and learn from the mistakes that were made, to make the next event even better. A professional events planner could have easily foreseen and corrected the few problems, but most of those people don’t work for free. Does anyone out there want to donate a month out of their life to give the Tea Party Express a hand? I know they would be grateful. If we are lucky enough to have the Tea Party Express come through Las Vegas or anywhere in Nevada again, I will be there with bells and protest buttons on! It is an a piece of history and an event that every red blooded patriot should experience. Bring Grandma and the kids too!
A big “Thank You” to all the people that helped make this event a memorable experience.
(Mr. Warren, a REAL tea party leader/activist, is co-founder and Pacific area director to the National Precinct Alliance)