Sunday, August 29, 2010

Drinking the Kool-Aid

There were a lot of people at Saturday's GlennBeckmageddon. We'll probably never know exactly how many actually showed up. Glenn Beck says their were 1/2 million; people who count crowds for a living say there were 78,000. Either way, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are a smaller draw than the Daytona 500.

restoring honorThe last time I visited this end of the Washington Mall was for the We Are One concert last year. The crowd that day stood shoulder to shoulder all the way back to the Washington Monument. Glenn Beck's crowd was only dense in the first 100 meters in front of the stage. How do I know? I walked from the Washington Monument to the front of the stage with no problem.

world war ii monumentThe atmosphere reminded me of a 4th of July picnic with people waiting for the fireworks. This was not a standing room only event. Many people had chairs and blankets.

glenn beck crowdI expected to see lots of crazy people, but surprisingly most of the people were reasonably normal. It wasn't much different from walking around a local WalMart.

Alright, so there were some crazy people. The theme of the rally was restoring honor, so naturally people were protesting the existence of gay people. Pro-gun, anti-tax and anti-choice shirts were popular, but mostly people were waving yellow Don't Tread On Me flags and wearing official Glenn Beck merchandise. A lot of people wanted to Take America Back, of course.

There were an unexpected number of people walking around with Barack Obama t-shirts, mostly taking pictures of Republicans. I overheard one of them comparing Beck to Obama, with Beck being just a little less popular. And those stereotypes of the Tea Party being unemployed angry white people? I forgot to ask if they were angry.

glenn beck rallyI had no problem walking right to the front of the rally; the only point that was a crush to get through was right in front of the stage. I ignored Beck's rantings for the most part, but at one point he kept asking, "What does this mean?"

On the whole I'd say this event was about three steps backwards for America. Restoring Honor insinuates that our president has no honor, a sentiment I find distasteful.

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