Greetings PunditHouse readers!
It has been a whirlwind of a couple weeks for me. Between Orlando, Atlanta, Washington DC, and my scheduled trip to Raleigh on Friday and Saturday, I’ve spent maybe three nights in my own bed. I’m exhausted, sunburned, and a little under the weather, but I’ve had such an amazing time you won’t find any complaints here!
The last weekend in August I joined Americans for Prosperity in Orlando for the dual conferences they were hosting…Defending the American Dream and RightOnline. The conferences were at dual hotels on the Universal Studios property and packed with political superstars. We heard speeches from Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio; Governors Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Rick Scott; and a host of non-elected politicos. Two of my favorite speakers were Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute and PJTV commentator and author Bill Whittle. Click each link for a YouTube video of their respective speeches.
To my knowledge there wasn’t an announced theme for the weekend, but a common thread in the discussions centered on the problems that Conservatives have in reaching the public at large. We constantly fight an uphill battle against pop culture and academia that portrays our side as the “bad guys” and have had less than stellar messaging to counteract it. I strongly recommend watching the two videos I linked to above.
Speaking of academia, a video I was able to capture on Friday night was a young man named Benji Backer. As a high school student in Wisconsin, his speech recalls his first hand account of how conservative students who dare speak out are treated by the pubic school administrations and teachers. While certainly not all school districts are the same, I have no problem believing that Benji’s experiences are not isolated.
Aside from the speakers, the conferences were chalk full of breakout sessions on everything from grassroots coalition building to grasping Google Analytics. These were definitely worth the time to attend and I very much look forward to next year’s events.
Atlanta was a personal trip for me to an annual concert festival. If you love hard, melodic music, check out ProgPowerUSA.com.
My Washington trip came as a surprise. While I was in Orlando, I was contacted by Tea Party Patriots regarding setting up a press conference in Charlotte. Their founder, Jenny Beth Martin, was on a tour with Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center promoting a defund Obamacare message. The logistics were a little difficult due to my absence and the holiday weekend, but we made it work. At the press conference I was invited by Jenny Beth to be a speaker at the September 10 Exempt America From Obamacare Rally. It was a remarkable opportunity, as well as the reason for my sunburn. Haha.
Washington is certainly an interesting place and I can see how addicting it can be for people who love politics. My first taste was during the cab ride from Reagan International to my hotel. On exiting the airport, there was a burma shave sign series welcoming Congress back to session and demanding no amnesty for illegal immigrants.
After checking into my hotel, I took a long walk around the city. While passing the Capitol Building, I heard a protest and went to check it out. About 50 or so folks were gathered to protest the idea of striking Syria. I looked on and was about to go join them when a woman next to me on the sidewalk struck up a conversation. We both agreed on the protest, but things devolved as we entered other topics. Not in a negative way mind you, but we had an interesting discussion on Obamacare before diving into her passion, global warming. She was just utterly amazed that I dared suggest the whole concept was an overblown political agenda designed for control. Turns out she’s an author and well known speaker on the subject. Lynne Cherry was her name. We agreed to disagree, but it was a unique experience for me. It’s hard to strike up such political conversations with random strangers on the street in Charlotte.
Another interesting run in was with a woman who, after our rally, was talking into a microphone system with passersby. She claimed to be an Occupy member and a Tea Party supporter. In some strange way I could see her logic, but what she presented as Occupy’s message I never fully got out of the movement when it was still relevant. She denied that they were looking for government solutions to perceived social problems and denied that they had ever been involved in any violence. The instances of both I cited were dismissed as “infiltrators trying to give them a bad name”. Hey, I’ve seen plenty infiltration at Tea Party rallies, so who knows. Another pleasant conversation with a random stranger. I just wish I got to share the microphone.
On my way out from that conversation, I started walking with some of the blue shirted American Cancer Society folks who were in town (and staying at my hotel). I asked what they were in town for in terms of specific legislation they were lobbying for. No surprise they were seeking another 94 cent increase in the cigarette tax. I explained that that was fine by me as I have since starting importing my cigarettes and avoid all tax completely. I asked how they thought Obamacare would impact their work. The lady I was talking with said it would be wonderful because now cancer patients would be able to get free care. As I started to explain that that wasn’t at all the case, the two other women she was walking with and were a step in front of us turned around and angrily said “We’re not having this conversation with you. We’re done here.” Then they turned and huffed onward with an extra zip in their step. Hilarious.
Anyway, the rally itself went over very well. Contrary to reports of small crowd size on liberal websites, there were thousands of people in attendance. Due to the high heat, many folks were along the edges of the lawn where trees could provide some shade. Furthermore, I’m less concerned about crowd sizes now than the message itself. It’s hard for folks to drive hundreds of miles in the middle of the week to attend rally after rally. I’ve said dozens of times that the time for rallies is over. The real work is being done behind the scenes. Over a million people have signed the petition at http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/ which is growing the communication infrastructure of the Senate Conservatives Fund. A large majority of Americans remain opposed to Obamacare, and for good reason.
This country is just months away from the opening stages of imminent collapse, and even the Republican Party has all but given up hope. Far too many don’t want to fight. Good riddance to them all. More on this soon in another post.
Here is my speech. My moment of fame.
Finally, this weekend I’ll be attending the Voter Integrity Project’s bootcamp in Morrisville, NC (outside Raleigh). Tickets are still available here. Let me know if you’re coming up!
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