It began in 105°F heat in Las Vegas, Nevada, and ended in what felt like 107°F "it's a dry" heat. People from all over the country descended on Vegas; there was a Domino's Pizza convention, a Deaf Poker Tournament, and a bunch of NutRoots gathering at the Rio Hotel.
At The Venetian Hotel, somewhere around 1,200 Americans gathered to hear conservative speakers, attend seminars on topics ranging from "Online Activism 101" to getting out the vote by climbing onto busses and knocking on doors in the waning heat of a Las Vegas afternoon to pass out literature and help Nevada to Dump Harry Reid.
Sharron Angle was in attendance and gave a great speech, and mixed it up with the people as well. She was totally approachable, unlike some candidates who feel they need to duck in a side door unseen to avoid actual contact; Angle was about as real a person as anyone else there that weekend.
Another eye-opener speaker was FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who gave us all an education on what Neil Stevens at RedState has been warning us about for over a year, Net Neutrality and the power of the FCC to take away our free speech rights.
The real stars of the conference were, however, the people. The bloggers famous and infamous and the people who read them daily, all mixed it up not only in the halls and seminars but in the clubs at night. Many a conspiracy was hatched (I'm sure), and faces were finally placed with names and Twitter names.
The people; ordinary people with ordinary lives who saw their lives being turned upside-down in the very near future and rose as one in the form of TEA parties taking their next steps to genuine activism. Get out the Vote type activism. Sitting at call centers and ringing up local likely voters to explain that the situation we're in as a country requires drastic steps, and pitching people like Harry Reid in Nevada was a good way for the local folks to start.
One "ordinary person" with guts (even in this economic/political climate she wants to start a new business) I met was Sue. Sue was called to stand up when Roger Hedgecock was speaking because he liked her Arizona shirt. Her I had to meet, and she was so outraged by what our rogue government was becoming in so short a time that she was moved to take political action and drove up from Arizona to learn how she could be more effective.
After the last event was over, as I dragged my bags down to the parking garage, I had to stop one last time and look around the casino.
"Do any of these people know what's coming down the tunnel toward them?" I thought, snuffing out a smoke in an ashtray by a very intense woman playing slots. She didn't even register that I had been there.
The words of Winston Churchill in 1940 about so many owing so much to so few passed through my mind, and I wondered how many more need to wake up to really turn things around here. I have the feeling we're still in the beginnings of the struggle to set the country back on its course, and we'll need many, many more to wake up and take a stand with us.
Now back at home, I finally have had the chance to hear Judge Andrew Napolitano's RightOnline speech, and his words sum it up;
"On the 24th of July, in the year of our Lord 2012; 1,200 freedom-loving patriots assembled in Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate individual freedom. Five years from now, will there be anything left to celebrate?
"The answer to that question is up to you; we know that it is a profound 'Yes!'
"In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. You are that generation! That is your role! This is that moment!"
And he's right; we are the Next Greatest Generation, and this is our moment. Seeing the "Shining City on the Hill" infested by those whose intention is on sinking it into the muck and dragging us all down with it, we make our stand as counter-revolutionaries to their socialist revolution. Grandmothers, teenagers, even member of the last Greatest Generation, all standing as one and saying; "No further."
And that's what I brought back from the desert in Nevada.
That and a raging headache-but the reason for that stays in Vegas.