- Crowd size: I’m not an expert, but based on past experience I would guess there was maybe a bit shy of a thousand people there. Judge for yourself from the crowd photos below (keeping in mind that the width and shallowness of the venue makes it almost impossible to get the whole crowd into one photo – there are always people left out to the sides). UPDATE: a reader who asked a state police officer working the event says they estimated the crowd at 2000-2500.
- The speakers were mostly familiar, treading familiar ground on the cluster of core issues which have the center-right so agitated lately: ever-accelerating runaway government spending and borrowing in Denver and DC alike, the socialization of health care through ”health reform”, the irresponsibility and unaccountability of the state and federal government, the growth of government at all levels and the corresponding retreat of liberty before the “nanny state”. No kooks on the speaker stand.
- The signs were almost entirely homemade – there were a couple of those “hands off” fans, but I didn’t notice any other mass-produced ones.
- The tone of the signs was a little different from previous center-right rallies, with a little more birtherism, religion, and opposition to abortion in evidence. I saw a few hammer-and-sickle symbols (which the left doesn’t seem to have any problem with), but no swastikas this time, and none of those Larouche-promoted Obama-with-a-Hitler-moustache pics. I saw one anti-vaccination sign, one Truther sign (after the event, carried by one of Denver’s ubiquitous political kooks), and a handful of birther signs. No blatant racism, although I recognize it’s a matter of interpretation in some cases (e.g. the “Joker” image).
About 1/3 of the crowd, around 15 minutes into the rally.
There were a half-dozen or so counterprotestors, including two in Death costumes arguing that we should cram 300 million Americans into a government-run health care system to fix a problem they claim affects 22,000 people per year…in other words, screw over 100% of the population to fix a problem they themselves assert only involves 0.0073% of the population.
PPC contributor Ari Armstrong teaches the crowd about capitalism, and the core immorality of socialized medicine from a capitalist perspective.
I didn’t catch this energetic speaker’s name, but he described himself as a recovering liberal. He praised private health care and private health insurance for saving his son’s life after a bout with cancer nine years ago, and described his experiences in bicycle fundraisers with survivors and families of 9-11. The picture makes him look goofy, but the look was part of an intentionally-humorous schtick.
As usual for a center-right event, the Gadsden Flag was flying everywhere.
Even PETA made an appearance! (Okay, not that PETA.)
I had to wonder how many other rally-goers picked up on the “goatse” reference.
The Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara gave a speech which was both funny and moving, as he recounted his family’s experiences with private health care and private health insurance. In effect, he turned the moral argument around on those Democrats who delight in regaling us with tearjerking stories of the current arrangement’s shortcomings, by giving examples of the healthcare system working well as it is, even without the free market reforms that would make it even better and more affordable.
A glimpse of roughly 1/4 of the crowd later in the rally, as more attendees have arrived and pressed in.
I’ll post more pictures of signs and such later.
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
- PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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