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8/28 Restoring Honor Rally – Notes from the Pit of Hatred

Posted on August 30 2010 9:00 am

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I wrote a month or so ago about my intention to attend the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally despite the not-so-subtle-threats of the New Black Panthers and  the “looming” presence of Al Sharpton. I confess though as the date drew near I succumbed to profound misgivings—given dire warnings from the media that the rally would almost certainly turn into some combination of a Bund rally and a race riot. It was only after NPR assured me that it might not degenerate into a pit of hatred that I felt comfortable venturing into that maelstrom.

Stoking even more suspicions is how secretive Beck is being. Little is known about the event except that there will be speeches by Beck and Sarah Palin, and attendees are prohibited from bringing signs. The fear, of course, is that it will turn into a pit of hatred a la the health-care town halls. But there may be a glimmer of hope.

Lord have mercy yes, those town halls replete with shrill harpies–hatefully demanding their representatives actually read that door stopper of a bill before voting on it–almost brought us to the brink of anarchy. In some cases the walkers and homemade signs also posed a threat to orderly movement (especially for politicians attempting a hasty retreat using the Pelosi crab walk), but let’s not dwell on that terrible, terrible chapter of American history.

Thankfully Beck, perhaps chastened by these excesses, chose another path — though media accounts make it clear he wanted to stage a rally featuring waves of apple cheeked Aryan children singing “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”

(Just for old times sake the media might still try to Photoshop in a picture Martin Bormann but the ubiquity of Flip cameras renders such efforts obsolete and not a little pathetic — kind of like expecting people to believe that Beck was somehow trying to deny MLK as an African-American phenomenon–based on half a sentence out of context.)

Arriving at the rally the first thing that struck me was the size of the crowd, which—contrary to the expectations of some—seemed in the hundreds of thousands  (or, using the mainstream media conversion table “somewhat more than a hundred”). What also struck me, given the numbers, was the enormity of effort it must have taken to swap out the usual gap-toothed rednecks we are assured make up the majority of Beck’s audience with the painfully polite, civil, well-spoken minions I encountered at very close quarters throughout the day. The AstroTurf expense alone of paying for all those people to be there must have run Beck into the millions—which incidentally explains what he does with all that money he makes hawking gold.

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