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Colorado Springs Tea Party

April 15, 2010

The crowd gathered early (above). Richard Randall from KVOR, who emceed last year and this, said the crowd looked bigger this time. I didn’t have his view last year, but it certainly didn’t seem any smaller to me. At one point somebody on stage asked for a show of hands of people who came last year and those who didn’t; there were quite a few first-timers.

There were quite a few new booths by organizations that didn’t exist last year, as well as petitions to sign and candidates to see. A brand new Colorado Springs newspaper, The Constitutionalist Today, was in evidence. What a difference a year makes.

There were a few policemen in the park, like the one at the left chatting with a member of the crowd. It was a very friendly and relaxed crowd: none of the so-called “tea party crashers” showed up. It’s just as well: the County Sheriff and the DA were on stage.

The emphasis was on “tea party values”–fiscal responsibility above all, but also free markets and limited government. I saw lots of familiar signs along with American and Gadsden flags. My favorite new sign: “Don’t loot me bro.”

The media were there as well. KVOR radio host Richard Randall emceed the speakers of course, and there were TV media, too. At one point Jeannette Hynes from Channel 5 was standing in front of me and apologized for blocking my view. She wasn’t really, but it showed me that even the media were friendly and relaxed. Channel 13 was there and even Focus on the Family sent a couple of media types. I saw two teams of young people with video cameras and notebooks interviewing people–something I’d not seen before.

The woman on the right was interviewing the two Vietnam vets in the picture. I’ll bet they have a story worth telling and I’m very glad to see someone of a younger generation listening to it.

I talked to a group of three students from a sociology class at UCCS who were asking questions of people in the crowd, trying to determine why they had come to the rally. First the tea parties were ignored and now we are fit subjects for a sociology class. Interesting. The answer to their question is simple: we’re ordinary Americans concerned about a government out of control. I hope they got the message.

What would an all-American political gathering be without vendors? I didn’t see buttons or t-shirts for sale, but somebody handed me a free copy of the Constitution with their organization’s sticker on the back. A man about my age said he’d never studied the Constitution before but was going to now.

There were even hot-dog vendors! The entrepreneurial spirit is still alive in Colorado Springs.

All things considered, as I said in my speech, a great day to be an American and a beautiful day in downtown Colorado Springs. I’m looking forward to the 3rd Annual Tea party next year.

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