Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin
On Saturday, standing on the state capitol steps in Madison, Wisconsin, I saw history. I saw the first public, physical manifestation of the great struggle between the tea party movement and the public sector unions. At stake: the future freedom and prosperity of this country.
On one side of the debate, you have freedom loving Americans who are the taxpayers, the ones who fund our government and are the heart and soul of this great nation. On the other, those who would seek to ride on the backs of the taxpayers as they take this country down a path of statism.
This is the great fight right now: freedom vs. statism, and the ones of the front lines for freedom are the tea partiers. They have been, and are continuing to, answer the bell time and time again in this crucial time in American history. They’ve been mocked and reviled, questioned, but they are America’s best hope to turn this magnificent nation back to a path of freedom and prosperity and away from destructive statism.
What I saw in Madison on Saturday was amazing. Thursday morning, the American Majority staff in Wisconsin and some local tea party leaders, Meg Ellefson and Tim Dake, along with Dave Westlake, decided there should be a rally in support of Governor Scott Walker and his Budget Repair Bill. In roughly 48 hours, it went from idea to reality, from a few people talking to 10,000 rallying on the steps of the capitol.
Within hours of announcing there would be a rally, I got a call that Andrew Breitbart was in. An hour later, Herman Cain said he would be there. Then Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit was roped in. The next morning, I got ahold of Joe the Plumber and asked if he would record some robo calls to promote the event. He not only said yes, but he hopped in the car to drive from Ohio to speak at the rally. Then Andrew mentioned that Brad Thor, the New York Times bestselling author, would be willing to speak. I said sign him up. Then Tim Phillips of AFP offered to fund some of the buses to bring people in. I said great, and then he too came and spoke at the rally.
I diverted my flight home from Southern California, landed in Chicago at 1am Saturday morning, and got up at the crack of dawn to drive up with Jim Hoft, Andrew, Brad, Andrew Marcus of Founding Bloggers, and the rest of the posse. Our four car caravan rolled into Madison around 11am, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Fox News asked how many we were expecting in a interview and hour before the rally was to begin, and I said we expected thousands.
Of course there were just a few more than a couple of thousand, with reports of at least 10,000; there were even reports of 15,000, though that number strikes me as being high. But I keep on thinking, even today, “All of that in less than 48 hours.” All the credit goes to the American Majority staff in Wisconsin, the magnificent local tea party leaders and others who worked behind the scenes to make the event happen.
The battle between the tea partiers and public sector unions was joined Saturday in Madison. It will play out over the coming days, weeks, months, even years, in Ohio, Florida, Indiana and other states. There is no doubt that the public sector unions are better organized and have more funding. But I’m putting my money on the tea partiers because I believe that in reality they represent the significant majority of the American people, and the American people are saying it’s time to get back to what has made us great: limited government, free enterprise and individual freedom.