The attendees at the Salt Lake City Tea-Party resembled a large group of penguins, in that we were grouped together tightly on the Federal Building’s plaza and we were freezing our keisters off. Typical Utah weather struck again with a mid April blizard that dumped a foot of snow at my house and showered the protest continuously with light, fluffy Utah powder.
The event was attended by easily a thousand people, though the total count is difficult to say as people were rotating though constantly. Local media reports peg the total between one and two thousand (quite a healty margin of error, but who can blame them). The two Republican memebers of the state’s delegation spoke, along with our A.G. who is hoping to unseat Sentator Bob Benett in the primaries. They gave typical stump speaches and it was nice to have their support. However, what impressed me the most were the unknowns that took to the stage. The local organizers encouraged any one with the desire to address the crowd. The individuals who spoke did so from the heart. It was touching to see these people overcome their nerves and articulate their concerns. Their speeches had a much greater impact on me than the professionals that preceded them.
I hear rumblings that these events may be repeated on July fourth – how appropriate. I’m hoping that they will continue at regular intervals and grow bigger with each event. There is clearly a large number of disaffected Americans who – like me – gawk, unbelieving at this rapid trashing of capitalism and the constitution. I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a groundswell that will lead to the restoration of conservative principles to the Republican party so we can begin to turn back the clock on this socialism in 2010.