Civil. Suspicious. Willing To Fight. Unwilling To Compromise.

I’ve just returned home from attending the Tea Party rally in El Cajon, California. Those attending the rally were typically civil, informed, and opinionated. There was the obligatory Ron Paul table and a table selling drinks that also had a straw poll ballot for our top three candidates. I left before the results of the straw poll were announced but Herman Cain is receiving a lot of enthusiastic support among these Tea-Party-goers. Pawlenty and Santorum were also popular.

   High Point: Mike Slater, radio talk show host on KFMB 760 am radio, and regular guest on the Fox News program. I’d not heard Mike before (I neither watch TV nor listen to 760). I’ll be listening to him hereafter. Perhaps it’s the dearth of people who are articulate and think well and quickly on their feet, but his articulate and passionate support for the conservative cause and reestablishing America’s greatness were particularly enjoyable and well-received by the audience. I highly recommend giving his show a listen, he’s on 760 KFMB from 6 to 9 am, Monday through Friday, He’s also on Sirius/XM Patriot! on Sundays, check

Next-Highest Point: the crowd. Enthusiastic, civil, suspicious of any speech other than plain speech, clean, and polite. Duncan D. Hunter, Jr., US Congressman representing the East County area spoke, and took questions after he spoke on the DREAM Acts, the debt ceiling, and one other important topic (that had I thought ahead I’d have written down on a piece of paper with a pen. I brought neither). A gentleman from the crowd very articulately told Congressman Hunter that he had “let us down” when he voted for the latest Continuing Resolution (rather than let the government shut down). The gentleman ended with “how do you respond?” and handed the microphone back. Congressman Hunter answered that he disagreed, then explained why. The crowd was almost universally attentive and quiet while the Congressman spoke. One gentleman chanted two or three times “phony.” His abrupt silence leads me to believe his neighbors in the crowd told him to shut up while the man spoke. I so love being part of a crowd that comes out in their red, white, and blue, claps when it’s right to clap, cheers when it’s right to cheer, and listens when it’s appropriate to listen.

Low Point: the national anthem was crooned by a scruffy guitarist who so destroyed the anthem that it wasn’t until a man standing in the crowd next to me gave me the stinkeye that I quit talking and listened and still could barely discern the tune. The artist looked as if his best friend had just jumped off a bridge, and his voice and guitar accompaniment reflected that morose mindset. He was accompanied by some kind of electric backup group that made it all sound like bad karaoke on a slow Tuesday night. I would urge the organizers not to invite him back. Please, just sing the song as it was written, a recognizable harmony would also be appropriate. At a minimum perform the song so we recognize it without having to be told what it is.

The Tea Party is alive and well; focused, and particularly unwilling to compromise with those on the other side of the aisle, or even those on its side of the aisle who rub the rough edges off our conservative principles.


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