Andrew Breitbart was never shy about his support of the Tea Party, speaking at numerous events and defending them from mainstream media allegations of racism and homophobia. In his book Righteous Indignation, he described them as “all sorts of people, all of whom had the same sense that the American people had finally awakened.” A rally appropriately named “Wake Up America! 2012,” held at the Federal Building in West Los Angeles on October 7th, consisted of just that type of crowd.
The mere mention of the Tea Party to others often brings cringes and gasps, and I have never been able to figure out why. Out of all the characteristics apparent at the rally, extremism was not one of them. There was plenty of Obama-bashing and Romney-Ryan endorsement, but one theme took center stage: patriotism in the form of ensuring liberty for ourselves and future generations.
Deborah Flora and Tamara Colbert, co-hosts of the radio show “Your Voice with Deb & Tam,” made their lack of feminist extremism clear by exclaiming, “We actually like men. We really do.” They also emphasized independence from the government on women’s issues such as birth control, declaring, “We can take care of it ourselves, thank you very much. We don’t need $16 trillion in debt to take care of it.”
Both parties were called out and held accountable for hindering the Tea Party’s goals. “Neither party can be trusted to work for our freedoms,” said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler, speaking about the importance of self-governance.
And believe it or not, there were Democrats in attendance as well. Rosa Koire, executive director of The Post Sustainability Movement, spoke out against United Nations Agenda 21, which would allow state money to be allocated by local entities as long as it goes towards sustainable development, without the say of voters. “Finally, something you and your relatives can agree upon,” she joked.
Breitbart’s own editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, speaking about American exceptionalism, criticized the admiration of “monument societies” which emphasize the efforts of the collective while placing less importance on individual freedom. “Children who grow up free are the most beautiful monument,” he said, and monuments “mean nothing if there are no free people to honor them.”
The star speaker of the afternoon was undoubtedly Dennis Prager, who spoke about values, capitalism, and what it means to truly love America. He asked the rhetorical question, “What form of love is it when you want to fundamentally transform that which you love?”
He also stressed the importance of this year’s presidential election, proclaiming, “This is not an election, this is a referendum.” And that referendum, according to the event’s speakers, is in the name of America and freedom.