So, I spoke at the Union Square Tea Party event as scheduled. Well, not quite as scheduled. I was there before 445pm, but I guess they were running behind or something. First Sally told me it would be like 5pm, then that it would be 520pm. It ended up being probably around 530pm. The delay was fine by me however, as I figured more people would be arriving as time went by, and I'm always happy to have a larger audience. While I waited I checked out the crowd.
My guess is that there were perhaps 200-500 people present. Probably mostly conservatives, but a number of Ron Paul folks there, as well as some Objectivists, Collin Hussey of the Pink Pistols, Gail Neira and Chris Bowman of the local GOP, and probably a few Libertarians, as well as a smattering of bemused passers-by and disgusted SF lefties. There were some great signs, a number predictably going after Obama and "change," one big poster of the president with a Hitler mustache. But many signs also expressed general libertarian and anti-government sentiments. One featured the terrific quote, "Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you've got", attributed to Thomas Jefferson (I've heard it was actually Gerald Ford who says this, but I just looked it up and found a citation listing Davy Crockett as the originator). Another sign said "Taxation is Theft" on one side and "Atlas Shrugged" on the other. There were lots of American flags, but also lots of Gadsden flags.
Both GOP congressional candidates against Pelosi, John Dennis and Dana Walsh spoke, as well as KSFO radio host Melanie Morgan and a bunch of other folks I'm less familiar with. I'm afraid my remarks weren't very much on-script -- I'm pretty bad at giving prepared speeches. But I did make sure to stress being consistent in following the Constitution, not like Nancy Pelosi. I addressed some of my remarks to San Franciscans or people who might be within earshot who had not come out specifically for the event and might be unfamiliar with the Tea Party or only have negative impressions from the media, and talked about the paradigm of freedom vs. tyranny instead of left vs. right. I asked the crowd how they felt about national health care, with the predictable response, and then noted that the "War on Drugs" set the precedent for this, and how it's a question of who will control your body and health, you or the government. There weren't a lot of cheers or anything, but I didn't notice anybody booing or trying to shout over me. It took the border control issue to provoke that response. I noted being inspired, when I was a Republican, by Ronald Reagan's vision of America as a "shining city on a hill", and expressed my doubts that he had in mind a wealthy gated community. As I started to explain the unconstitutionality of immigration controls, people got so loud I could hardly speak over them. I closed on an anti-tax note.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the negative reception my immigration remarks got with part of the crowd, a number of people afterward voiced their appreciation to me for speaking out, including even a couple folks who said they disagreed with me. John Dennis, who spoke right after me, whispered "You're a brave man!" to me as he left the podium. After standing around and listening to a few more speakers, I circulated through the crowd and passed out a bunch of ISIL fliers, jury rights fliers, and some copies of my privacy/surveillance flier. A number of people recognized me from my speech, and I had some good conversations. No one I spoke with was impolite -- the most unfriendly reaction I got was people refusing to accept any fliers. I saw some media there, but wasn't diligent enough about making contact with them, so got no press that I'm aware of.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))