(Mark Noonan) – The TEA Party Express endorsement of Sharron Angle for United States Senator may or may not shake up the Republican Senate primary, but it is abundantly clear that the TEA Party has shaken up American politics.
On April 15th I went down to Sunset Park in Henderson in order to observe the Tax Day TEA Party rally. When I arrived, I was disappointed – one guy parading with a “Don’t Tread on Me” banner, and not much else. But as I was heading out the door, as it were, a couple flag-bedecked cars arrived with people clearly there for a TEA Party. I followed them.
Turns out, I had just gone at the wrong end of park – and hadn’t realized just how big Sunset Park is.
As I followed along behind the activists, I noted more and more converging in the same direction. I also noted the “crash the tea party” infiltrators. About four or six fit, young men shouting obscenities at little, old ladies and mothers with children. Keep it classy, liberals – but it also shows the weakness of the left. Bereft of ideas or, even, a sense of decency, all they’ve got is insults. Great credit to all the people subjected to the insults – no one reacted.
At the event, itself, was a large crowd. Keeping in mind that TEA Party activists hold down jobs, this was a big turn out for a Thursday afternoon. When I arrived, at least 250 people, growing swiftly to about 500 and then steadily increasing from there.
There were politicians working the crowd (I shook hands with Craig Lake – who I am delighted to note is even shorter than I am and thus part of our global, short-people plot to take over the world). Activist groups passing out fliers. I signed the petition to put the marijuana initiative on the ballot – on the principle that we, the people, should never be afraid to put an issue to the vote. The free market in action as vendors hawked flags and sundries. What struck me most about the people, however, was their seriousness.
It might have been that a year ago people were just blowing off steam – disappointed Republicans and conservatives whooping it up in what had become Obama’s America. Not so, today. These people are, indeed, angry – but not shouting angry. Determinedly angry. Steely angry. Never gonna quit until America is rescued angry.
These people are America – young and old; married and single; white, black, hispanic, etc; working people; educated people; veterans. The people who make America work and who have, at long last, had enough.
The epitome of the day was, actually, when Danny Tarkanian spoke. Not that Danny is a Reganesque orator – and, in fact, I still have many issues with how he has conducted his campaign – but when Tarkanian asserted that he gets it. That he understands what the TEA Party is about and how its making him determined to get government out of our lives and America back on track. Tarkanian is a son of privilege who has lived and worked in the rarified atmosphere of our political and economic elite – if he can come around, anyone can.
I have no predictions to make on the ultimate outcome of November. Its a long way away and we must never underestimate the ability of the Republican party to blow it. That said, the TEA Party activists – here and around the nation – will win, in the end. This is not the movement most pundits think it is – this is a revolutionary upheaval from the people, as in “We, the People”.
Liberalism thought it has won final victory in November of 2008 – all it did was awaken the sleeping giant. The result today will be just what it was the last time some one roused him.