I am trying to recover from being squashed as flat as a paper doll at the tea party last night in Atlanta. The last count I heard for it was 14,000 and I think 4,000 of them were in my space. Not only could I not see the stage, but I could not see the huge screen with the video image of the proceedings. Things were so tight that we didn’t need coats in the 47 degree weather and I could not get my fantastic poster, over which I had slaved for hours with a hot glue gun, into the air. My lovely hat with the dangling teabags was all that I could manage. A friend and I were pasted against the fence of Central Presbyterian Church, begging people to stop climbing it as we knew it was going to go down. There were kids, strollers, old people, etc. there. Everybody was yelling and singing and they all were familiar with the constitution. A group passed out copies of it. A little old black man tried to get through the crowd. He looked like a vagrant, but he was yelling, “I need to get to work!” A man in a cashmere coat yelled, “Get out of the way, this is a working man and he is on his way to his job!” The crowd parted like the Red Sea was parted by Moses. Only people with a true appreciation for the work ethic could respond like that.
The entire evening was like getting in touch with the very best of who we are, of what this country represents. It was like a lesson in American history, before they rewrote the history books. The people there were the people who are real. The slogans on the signs were incredibly creative and thoughtful. The people spoke good English and treated each other with respect. They were not hateful and denigrating. But they were angry at their leaders and angry at themselves for not being involved enough to choose better leaders. The people that were there will not be uninvolved again. They are going to be some of the most informed and politically adept Americans around. I guarantee that they will not fall by the wayside and this movement will not lose steam. Anyone who was part of the group will tell you…..this was only the beginning.