Special Iowa Straw Poll Edition……. Okay, not really that special….

Well, yesterday was the Iowa Straw Poll, and while I was hoping to regale you with exciting story after exciting story, but the truth is, there was nothing overly special or interesting. Oh don’t get me wrong, I had a great, great time, but the truth is there wasn’t anything overly special. The weather was terrific, the people were…. and I’m sorry to disappoint you, but the people were normal …. and the overall atmosphere was upbeat and optimistic.

Now, if there were any folks there dressed like Revolutionary War Minutemen, or Benjamin Franklin, or…. well, you get the idea, well, I didn’t see them. Actually there was one guy dressed like Abe Lincoln, but he was actually a part of performance in the AARP tent. I mean hey, it’s only fair since half the people in that tent voted for him.

What I was really looking for was two different things that I am told by the left are prevalent at Tea Party events: Racism and intolerance. And okay, the straw poll is not really a Tea Party event, but I have never actually been to a Tea Party event, and I felt that this was probably the closest I was going to come to being at one. That’s a picture to the right of me in front of the “Mid-State Tea Party Patriots” bus, so there was someTea Party representation. Okay, lets be honest, I bet you half of these folks would classify themselves as Tea Partiers.

So how do you find racism and intolerance at the Straw Poll? Well, lets start with the latter: Intolerance. It would have been easier if there had been a bunch of protesters around, but I only saw two people that one would consider to be a protester, and both were pretty lame. They both had signs addressing there, shall we say “dissatisfaction” with Michelle Bachmann. They had crudely made signs, and, if I was to believe my friends on the left, they were being run out of town on a rail by the crazed “teabaggers” with pitchfolks and AK-47’s. Sadly, reality rarely lives up to liberal expectations.

I spent probably 10 to 15 minutes watching each of the protestors, and the reaction by the crowd around them. Most folks ignored them, a few folks went up and talked to them, trying to convince them that they were wrong, but I saw no one at all get in their face or get But what about Racism? That one’s a little harder. Look, there were probably 25,000 to 30,000 people at this event, and 99 percent of them – at least 99% of the ones I ran into were white. Ah Ha you say… that’s proof right there how racist these folks are. Except the issue isn’t that these folks were keeping any people of color out.

The “minority”, if you want to use that term, that was most represented at the event were Asians, followed by Hispanic, and just a few African-Americans. Again, the best way to determine just how racist these people are was to watch how they reacted to the people that the left are telling us the we hate. I’m sure that you know what happened: I saw no one of any minority being treated any differently then any other person on the grounds. Of course I didn’t see every moment of every person of colors time at the event, and there could have been a major dust-up, but I don’t think that happened.

And I have to wonder why, when I walked by Herman Cain’s Tent, there were 700 or so of these raging racists standing line for an hour just to get a chance to shake the man’s hand. Doesn’t exactly sound like something one of those hood-wearing, cross-burning Tea Party members would do, does it.

And then, as I was leaving the Poll, I saw an African-American man wearing a Ron Paul T-shirt (I had voted for Paul in the poll). I struck up a conversation with him, and while I felt someone stupid asking him, I steered the conversation towards Tea Party racism. It turns out that this gentlemen – Bill, from Davenport (about a 3-1/2 hour drive to Ames) – actually is a Tea Party member, and one of the leading members of his local Tea Party. I asked him if he has ever encountered any racism or slurs at any Tea Party events, and he said that he has never encountered any hostility at all at ant Tea Party events, although he did admit that from time to time some folks are uncomfortable around him, not because they appear to have any issues with his being black, but more that they really are going out of their way not to say anything that might offend.

He did however say that plenty of his liberal friends – black and white – have gotten downright nasty with him, calling him a sell-out and an Uncle Tom, and several of his friends, upon learning of his conservative leanings – have ended their friendship. So you tell me, which group is the tolerant one?

So that proves it, right? That proves that there is no racism or intolerance in the Tea Party. Right? No, of course not. This is one mans observations at a single event. It doesn’t mean shit, BUT when one person at a single event sees something that supports their racist claim (in many cases something they perceive to be racist), and the left has no problem using that incident to paint an entire group of people with one broad stroke.

I’ve got a great idea. For anyone who really wants to rag on the right as being evil and racists, how about you get off your ass and actually go to one of these events and actually meet and talk to the people you are so quick to judge. Sure, you’re still going to walk away probably disagreeing with the politics of that person – and that’s okay – but at least you will actually have talked to that person face to face before judging them. I know that’s an odd concept for my leftist friends, but you might want to give it a shot.

Oh, and vote Ron Paul in 2012!!!


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