Monday, September 06, 2010

Restoring Honor - Reflection

When a certain progressive family member learned I was going to the Restoring Honor rally in Washington DC, she told my wife she thought it was to protest the Ground Zero Mosque.   My wife told her no, it had nothing to do with it.   But the progressive, as she commonly backs up her perceptions of things, insisted that she had "read it somewhere". 

My wife again told her that this rally has been in the planning for almost a year, long before any of the Mosque Flap popped up.   "Oh?" .... is the response she typically has when she has nothing further to say.

I got back, and was asked at dinner in front of her by some relatives "how was D.C.?"   Well, in order not to get into it, I answered "crowded".

And when I checked my facebook page, I noticed another extremely progressive friend had posted a link to some Washington Post story on the rally and claiming that Beck had said that the unemployed are "un-American", and that she was surprised at Beck's "sudden" humility and his religious message.

Now I've been listening to the man for ... probably about 4 years now.  And I knew that he doesn't believe that the unemployed are "un-American" ... so I knew that had to be wrong.  And I also know he's been going down this American Revival path for at least a year, and that the man is humble and has been for quite some time.

I'm not terribly religious.  But I respect it, and I know how inextricably it is intertwined in our culture.  I am not one of those who insist on casting it out, like the proverbial baby with the bathwater.   I think at worst it is a useful tool (which, like other tools, can be abused, no doubt) and at best ... it just might be true.   At the very least, there is much truth in it.  I recognize and restpect that truth and that good and this is why you often see me fighting to defend it here on these "pages".

Now I want to tell you a little bit about what I saw there.  What I saw there was the America I grew up believing in.   I saw good people from babies to the aged, families -- polite, courteous, respectful of one another.  I saw several of the people we racist redneck "tea baggers" are supposed to hate among us, milling around just like everyone else -- comfortably, casually -- a part of the crowd, talking with people with whom they had something in common, and it wasn't skin color.  I saw Americans.   Not hyphenated ones.

I saw the few provocateurs in the crowd that I mentioned in the previous post left dangling as people were not taking their bait.  The very fact that they were there as provocateurs in a crowd of supposedly angry hateful people with people paying little attention to them if any at all -- mainly to walk around them and give them their space -- made them look positively silly, and it was apparent in their body language.  They were there looking for a fight to pin on us, and it was glaringly obvious who it was that was trying to start something.  Not exactly the headlines they were looking for.  And I don't think they got any headlines at all.

These were people, many of whom like me had spent the last 20 or more hours on a bus, sleeping in their bus seats the night before.   A bunch of us also walked the 4 miles from RFK to the rally.  We were hot.  We were tired.  But it was a Sunday walk in the park, even with a half-million people.  People with strollers pushing their kids, carrying them on their shoulders, people greeting each other, meeting strangers.  It was really quite a nice afternoon.

The few provocateurs in the crowd melted away pretty quickly.  What really got me was the march of the counter-"protestors" ... but of course we weren't there protesting anything so counter-protestor is really the wrong word.  The "Anti-Ralliers" ... deliberately marching across the stream of departing ralliers trying to get attention, and I believe hoping to start something much like the Congresssional Black Caucus' Alinsky inspired march through the health care bill protestors trying to provoke a headline response ... and upon getting none, made one up that nobody can produce any evidence for.

I think this was a brilliant move by Beck.  Not only is he right that we won't restore America until we restore what is good and right and essential in historic American culture.

He left his opponents sputtering... with nothin'.

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