Hey, did you hear about all those pro-Trump rallies taking place around the country today? Yeah, me neither… at least for the most part. But as it turns out a number of cities and towns will be hosting marches in support of the new administration. Some of these events are being hosted and organized by current and former Tea Party leaders, while others come from more unexpected sources. (Time Magazine)
The Tea Party was founded eight years ago to disrupt the Washington establishment, taking on entrenched Republicans and the Obama administration in equal measure. But now that President Trump is in office, some current and former Tea Party leaders are adopting a more inclusive tone for a very different mission: supporting the man in the White House.
On Saturday, more than 60 pro-Trump rallies organized by current and former Tea Party leaders will take place in cities across the U.S., with the aim of countering anti-Trump demonstrations and building a bigger, more welcoming tent of supporters. The “Spirit of America” rallies, set to take place in cities as big as Cleveland and St. Louis and as small as Gravette, Ark. (pop. 3,200), follow a dozen similar demonstrations earlier this week. And organizers hope that the tone and approach will mark a clear break from earlier Tea Party demonstrations.
“This is not a Tea Party rally,” says Debbie Dooley, an Atlanta activist and a co-founder of the first national Tea Party rally in 2009. “We’re not anti- this and anti- that. We’re very focused on not having negative signs, making sure they’re positive and upbeat.”
As I noted above, some groups are well outside the usual throngs of Tea Party activists. There is one march taking place being hosted by “Gays for Trump.” As was the pattern through all of the 2016 election, The Donald has been able to find support in unexpected and often surprising quarters. There’s a fair chance however, that even by the end of the day you won’t have found out much about these events, even if you spent your Saturday glued to the usual cable news coverage. There’s two reasons for that which are both probably obvious and sad simultaneously.
The first explanation should be old news to everyone who follows the mainstream media with any regularity. Protests against the President are “big news” while anything which might portray him in a positive light inevitably receives far less attention. This is a repeating pattern which has unfortunately become pretty much a dog bites man story. You need look no further back than the past couple of months and compare the amount of news coverage which the March for Life received to the so-called “women’s March” right after the inauguration. As the Washington Times reported after the conclusion of those two events, the major news outlets covered the women’s march 129 times more heavily than the March for Life despite the fact that the new Vice President was addressing the latter. With that history as prologue, I will be pleasantly shocked beyond belief if you see CNN and the rest of the major cable news outlets spending much time talking about today’s events.
The second reason for this will probably come as less pleasant news for many of you but it’s a bit of reality we should face up to. I do not expect these rallies to draw anywhere near the number of attendees seen at the well organized, professional protests against President Trump which were cropping up around the nation for weeks on end. This isn’t part of some grand conspiracy, but simply a reliably repeatable aspect of human nature. We don’t tend to get up on our hind legs and take to the public square when we are happy about something nearly so much as when we want to complain. Voters who are happy with the way things are going tend to be a bit more complacent for better or worse. When everyone is angry and up in arms it’s easy to get them out in the streets chanting and singing. When things are going well, we tend to go about our daily affairs and be more quietly grateful that the government has actually managed to get something right for a change.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe by the end of the day the streets will be filled with marching celebrants. Unfortunately, I kind of doubt it. That’s just not how we’re built. I don’t say this as some sort of judgment on American society in general because we actually have every right to expect the government to function in a competent fashion and do the right thing. They shouldn’t need to be constantly saluted and have ticker tape parades held in their honor just for doing their jobs. More’s the pity, because we could probably use a bit of that right about now.