Lot of big stuff going on nationally…

14 09 2009

Wow.  It’s almost as if limited-government activists have had some kind of Axelrod-esque political-strategy coaching session over the past few weeks, what with the massive 9/12 crowd in DC, the quiet, under-the-radar dismissal of radical communist 9/11 Truther “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, and ACORN’s recent fall from grace.

Trying to organize conservatives and libertarians has been famously compared to trying to herd cats.  How do you unite a bunch of people who fundamentally want to be left alone?  It’s pretty simple, actually—you don’t.  Offend their sensibilities enough—appoint radical loons to shadowy Executive branch positions (looking at you, 30+ Czars) without (apparently) bothering to vet them, spend trillions of dollars we don’t have to prop up a creaking economic system, and push a leftist agenda against mounting public opposition without first addressing the tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities that will start rearing their ugly heads in the next decade—and people will organize themselves, from the bottom up, more or less spontaneously.  You don’t need a George Soros-funded advocacy network to move truly concerned citizens to action.

The 9/12 Tea Party in DC is a great example of this.  Sure, FreedomWorks and other well-funded, politically connected groups plastered their names on some rockstar tour buses on display at the event.  Yes, political insiders like Dick Armey gave speeches.  But the seas of protesters who hauled themselves and their handmade signs to the Capital from every corner of the country on, to the best of my knowledge, their own dime, were not there because some guy in an ACORN office told them to be there.  If anyone urged them to go, it was their own neighbors, not a bunch of self-righteous community organizers.

And about that crowd size: I can’t seem to find a satisfactory number.  “Up to two million” seems quite optimistic; the “tens of thousands” reported by most mainstream media outlets seems to be a deliberate turn of phrase designed to undermine the truly massive numbers of attendants.  Somewhere in the ballpark of five hundred thousand seems to be a reasonable lower-end compromise.  I’m no expert on crowd size estimation, but this picture:

This is pre-renovation, we lost some seats to boxes (at least during construction)

This is pre-renovation, we lost some seats to boxes (at least during construction).

…represents the majority of the roughly 110,000+ football fans that pack the Big House on a typical game day.  Watching this time-lapse traffic cam video:

…you see a flood of people marching down Pennsylvania Avenue.  It’s a lapse, so it’s jumpy and it’s not immediately clear how spaced-out each frame is.  But damn, that’s a lot of people.  For a herd of cats, they sure are organized.

The most beautiful part?  I think the vast majority of the protesters that showed up were past the point of even caring whether the media gave them a minute of honest coverage.  I wish I could have been there to document the event for the Michigan Review, but alas, I had other things to do (like host the Michigan Review party).  I’m sure with Patrick Swayze’s death, all evidence of the event will disappear from any major new outlet’s website.  But nobody went to the march expecting to be lionized by the media—quite the opposite, I’m sure.

I don’t think the 9/12 march was the culmination of (what I hope is) this newborn limited-government push.  With a united, positive message that promotes greater freedom, not bigger government, as a solution to our current and future problems, this will be the start of a sustained movement.

This is getting long, but I want to get my thoughts down on ACORN.  I guess that will give me something to talk about tomorrow.

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One response

15 09 2009
Min

Graham,

I lost your email address but wanted to send you this link to ponder a different issue: Fat Tax Follies
http://www.jonbarron.org/baseline-health-program/2009-08-31.php

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