Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Tea Party Express came to Mishawaka, Indiana yesterday afternoon. About 2,000 Hoosier patriots, joined by many of the Michigan brethren, gathered around in Battell Park, next to a band shell dedicated to Americans who served during World War I.

It was the twentieth stop of the 33 city tour, which will end on Saturday in Washington--on the steps of the US Capitol.

A few minutes after the Express visited New Lenox, Illinois, --which had 10,000 attendees, I spoke with Blue Star Mom Deborah Jones, pictured on the right, by telephone.

I asked her what had been the response so far to the rallies, and she replied. "Phenomenal. Absolutely, positively overwhelmingly encouraging. A sleeping giant has awakened within people who are finally getting out of their easy chair to come out and say, 'We haven't been proactive in our lives as far as the direction of our government.'" Johns than rattled off every imaginable level of government that citizens can get involved in--the Tea Party movement isn't just about President Obama--although the lion's share of the focus in Mishawaka, and presumably other stops, has been the overreach of Obama and Congress.

The neat thing about these rallies, in my opinion--are you reading this Nancy Pelosi?--is that these are truly grass roots events. Johns told me, "I can't tell you how many people I've heard from that have said that we have never come out to a political event or a protest event in their lives."

I can say the same thing. Several people told me that yesterday, and I heard similar sentiments at the four other Tea Parties I've attended.

The rally began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an emotional performance of Our National Anthem by Diane Nagy. She handed over the microphone to Lloyd Marcus, who sang his "American Tea Party Anthem."

Some of the speakers danced, and well, what they lacked in technique they made up with enthusiasm. Female volunteers, the quickly assembled "Lloydettes," created a line dance.

After we finish the bus tour, that have to be proactive in their cities, in their towns, in their state and local governments, they've got to organize themselves and bring forth good conservative candidates in their cities and towns to make a difference in government.

San Diego radio host Mark Williams spoke first, and although he didn't sing, he hit quite a few high notes, including this "We have an entire city--Washington DC--occupied at the moment by the left extremes of our national mental disease."

Clearly he doesn't like the way our nation is being run, and he declared to those currently in charge, "They can have my country when the pry it from my cold, dead fingers."

He added:

We are a nation of the people, by the people, for the people, not of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians. No socialism, no Marxism, no fascism--read the Constitution, Washington!"

Deborah Johns then spoke, and she turned the podium over to Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative who was selling "Don't Tread on Me" flags at an August St. Louis protest. He was confronted by man, an African American reverend, who hurled racial epithets at him, and he was then knocked on the ground by a couple of SEIU members "Who knocked me on the ground and started stomping on me." Six people were arrested.

Rivoli Review, a husband and wife act, performed "U.S.S. of A.," and later they sang "A Bit Fat No. They are on the right--that's Mark Williams in the foreground.

That's all for now. Look for Part Two tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, the Tea Part Express continues:

Here are the upcoming stops:

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