At The Wake Up America (#WUA) Rally in West LA
If a Tea Party Rally Goes Down in West LA, Does Anyone Hear It?
The answer is yes, about 1200 people heard it. They assembled on a federal building lawn. More than 50 booths flanked the crowd. They represented a wide spectrum of Republican and Conservative organizations .
The tougher question is, what was the point of the Wake Up America (WUA) Rally?
As with all political movements, this rally was made up of many different groups with at least one similarity that outranks any of their dissimilarities. It seems, from a few hours of canvassing the event (visiting the booths, listening to the speakers and interviewing one of the organizers), the best way to describe this binding similarity is, rejection of the “leftist*” agenda.
*Leftist in this context is defined by the acknowledged enemy of the group being defined and therefore extremely biased. Depending on the person using the word it can range from admitted leftist and left leaning politicians to self-described pragmatists like President Obama to entertainment outlets with a perceived Democratic-party slant like the Daily Show. This ambiguity isn’t any negative indication about the group, it’s just part of their fragmented nature—any informal and young political collation would likely have similarly loose definitions.
Now, no organization wants to be characterized as a negative of another organization and this is certainly not the most accurate way to describe the WUA rally, however, it is the cleanest and quickest way and it’s not inaccurate. As much (if not more) time was spent identifying the sins of the left than was spent identifying the common virtues among the 50 plus different organizations that were assembled at the event.
So, to the best of my understanding the point of this rally was unification of the disparate political institutions whose primary political identifier is “Republican” or “Conservative.” There was many different bonds cited between these groups, the most common were allegiance to “free markets,” “limited government” and “low taxes.” “Strong defense,”“respect for civil liberties” or “Constitutional principles” were also common mentions but not as much as the original three.
As commonly mentioned as these principles were, no one idea shown through more clearly in the speeches and signs as the need to defeat the left and their perceived champion, President Obama. Mitt Romney placards, tee shirts and stickers were everywhere.
I didn’t come across any mention of the defeated Republican primary candidates’ names. There were a few “End the FED” shirts among the crowd but the presence of Ron Paul or Libertarian supporters appeared to be muted or non-existent.
While much energy was put into branding the rally with the Romney name and slogan, many speakers also acknowledged that this crowed couldn’t stop Obama from winning California, unified or not.
So, if the presidential election was beyond reach, what did the organizers hope to accomplish?
Their two most obvious targets were: local elections and future elections.
Organizer Jeffers Dodge of PopModal Videos, a “pro-American video company,” commented to me that the gathering is one step in a journey. While he went as far as to say that LA had more Republicans than anywhere else in the country, he is focused on a wider appeal—less to do with Mitt Romney and Republicans and more to do with Conservatism as an ideology. He hopes to not only unify the Republican factions but reach beyond them.
On the front of local elections, many different booths promoted the Tea Party-backed candidates running below the all-consuming Presidential race. Two of these were Elizabeth Emken who is running against Diane Feinstein next month and Kevin James who is running for Mayor of LA in 2013. Both candidates were present but couldn’t address the crowd due to limits on campaign speech on federal property. However Dennis Prager did lobby the crowed on behalf of Emken who could only stand at his side, point to her fund-raising booth and rub her fingers together in the universal sign for “donate money.”
Here are some sights and sounds of the Wake Up America Rally
Dennis Prager’s speech was the climax of the event. He highlighted the alleged absurdity of the left’s popularity among college students and black America. He says no other groups have been more victimized by the policies of the left. He called America, “the least racist society in human history.”
Categorised as: Liberty