"All politics is local." -- Tip O'Neill, long-time Massachusetts Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
"All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war." -- Billy Beck, August 2009.
Both of the above statements are true. The fusion of these truths is also true:
"All civil war is local." -- Mike Vanderboegh, 19 April 2010.
The British Special Air Service has a creed: "Who Dares, Wins."
On the 19th of April, Daniel Almond and the happy few, the hardy band of brothers and sisters who rallied with him in Fort Hunt and Gravelly Point national parks in northern Virginia, dared and won.
We proved the concept. You can "shake your guns in the tyrant's face" lawfully, peaceably yet defiantly and get away with it without incident. So much of the run-up to this march was filled with folks who seemed to embody the dictum of foolishness I first learned from my grandfather: "When in peril, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." Some folks not only did that, but flapped their arms while doing it.
There's no point in singling out any individual in particular other than the LaRouchies, who are verminous barking moonbats on their best of days. In retrospect, it must be acutely embarrassing for them and their stooge, the bald-faced liar Walter Reddy of the so-called "Committee's of Safety" as well as those board-members of a certain organization who were spooked by them into withdrawing from the RTC rally after first committing to it.
(Their new theme song, Groucho Marx's "Hello, I must be going." -- "Hello, I must be going, I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going. I’m glad I came, but just the same I must be going.")
There was no provocation.
There was no blood bath.
Nothing except an excellent proof of concept by a determined minority who did not take counsel of their fears.
If the LaRouchies are right (and they're not, not on this or any other thing) the British Secret Service is wasting their money on this alleged "Agent of the Queen of England."
In the brief after-action, those of us privy to the whole thing from start to finish rated it a 95% success against tall odds.
First, the publicity was astounding. In truth, "the whole world was watching." And we didn't just get reasonable treatment (defined as being quoted correctly and having our names spelled right, which is about as much as you can expect these days) from the foreign press but from the "state-run media" as well. This was not just accidental. There was considerable effort on RTC's part to give the press complete access to us before the event and to use those small contacts we had buried deep within the press corps to as great an advantage as possible.
Second, though the turnout was light, considering the disinformation campaign and the palpable fear that it whipped up in the folks who otherwise might have come, it was enough. As I told reporters that day, history is made by determined minorities and we demonstrated that we were such a determined minority.
Third, Daniel Almond's strategic vision was validated. The spectre of an "armed march on Washington," as it was characterized, following hard upon the Window War, seized the imaginations of the chattering class such as Rachel Madcow and Chris Matthews. This gave us an extra boost in publicity. By contrast, the March on Washington, which readers may remember I also supported, was a rather blase, humdrum event after the many such rallies and marches over the past nine months. The RTC rally "sucked all the oxygen" out of the press room for them, and 2AM organizer Skip Coryell (another fellow who committed to speak at RTC and then backed out) denounced the Virginia events as "a public relations nightmare" in USA Today. I can understand his frustration, though I do not agree with it, because,
Fourth, these rallies came at the end of a long spate of events centered in the nation's capitol. People on our side, from the Tea Parties to the Second Amendment activists, are just plain exhausted -- in body, in economic resources and, in some ways, in spirit. DC is at the end of a long logistical tail for most folks. We are in the middle of what will later be acknowledge to be a depression -- and yet people came. They came from California, for crying out loud. It was on a work day (and almost all of our folks work for a living) -- and yet people came.
Larry Pratt at Gravelly Point.
Fifth, the rallies created positive synergies among the participants. We return from these events having made personal links with folks, some from our own states, some from adjoining states. Leaders were revealed, first and foremost among them Daniel Almond, who emerges from this with the opportunity to grasp the mantle of a national leader in the Liberty movement if he so chooses. Other older leaders were highlighted, among them my old friend Bob Wright of New Mexico, whose two speeches on different topics and his leadership on the ground impressed many who had never heard him or seen him in action. I will be posting his speeches as soon as the links are sent to me. And other leaders of the Second Amendment movement also burnished their reputations simply by having the guts to speak when all others took counsel of their fears and fled. Among these were Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and David Codrea of War on Guns.
Sixth, and last, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the peanut gallery, there was not only no violence from us, there was none from the counter-demonstrators, nor any from us reacting to them. (Although I must confess that the appearance of two anarchists at the press conference who sat in the back, took copious notes about the plans of the rallies but didn't ask a question, gave me some concern. Yet, when notified, the USPP predicted that they would not be a problem and they weren't.)
The strenuous efforts of Daniel and the volunteer marshals -- all the site recon and planning, the close coordination with USPP, and finally the superb execution on that day, proved that we could demonstrate armed without anyone getting stupid, rash, or worse, hurt. The spectacle of the Brady Bunch's Helmke standing at the fringe of the RTC rally at Gravelly Park, snidely insulting us, but at the same time desperate for publicity (perversely basking in our reflected glow), put the lie to his previous statements that we were a disaster waiting to happen. Ask yourself: If he really believed we were a danger, would he have risked his precious ass to be close to us? Not hardly. My coming over and bracing him was icing on the cake. He had already discredited his own meme by his mere presence.
So, we proved the concept, but all of us, exhausted afterward, agreed that we didn't want to do another one anytime soon. We are exhausted not only in body and mind but in money. No one funded us like Skip Coryell's march, unless you include the bills run up by several key RTC supporters that are coming out of their own pockets.
So, that said, let us return to the question: Where do we go from Gravelly Point?
Many folks, including Daniel, are still decompressing from the stress of the event, and that includes me too. But while I have my bloody feet propped up, I can still write and I'm thinking along the lines of Tip O'Neill's & Billy Beck's dictums: All civil war is local.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if Three Percenters and other Open Carry and Second Amendment activists started doing this in their local areas? Who doesn't have some federal park land available for a repeat of RTC in their state. And how many more could we attract to events that were within driving distance, that didn't require massive travel and hotel costs? What if we were able to pull off mini-RTC's in every state, fifty of them within, say, the next six months?
I will have more about this theme of "All civil war is local" in the coming weeks. But let us, in addition to the "We Are Everywhere" campaign, in addition to decorative messages of "NO!" on anything and everything, try to bring off local RTC's throughout the country.
All you folks who wished to be at Fort Hunt and Gravelly Point but couldn't because of timing or resources, this is your chance.