Last week I flew to Oakland, California. I’ve been to Cali before, but never that far north. In Oakland, I met up with the American Liberty Tour, which consisted of two RVs, ten people, and one message, diffuse though it may be.
As we headed north to Sacramento, my first tour stop, I saw the Golden Gate Bridge away in the misty distance. One more great American symbol for my list. A small thing, but a good start.
In Sacramento, we listened to Chuck DeVore speak to a townhall meeting. If you are like me, you never dare to hope the Boxer’s or Pelosi’s of the world could see ballot box defeat … the disappointment would be too crushing. Let me tell you something: go listen to DeVore for ten minutes and you’ll believe. This is a man who can unseat Boxer. He just needs your help. Campaigns take money, time, and effort. As activists, that’s our job.
This is how the tour began for me, and this is how the idea of it really coalesced in my mind. What are we doing here? Some have asked, some have answered. But I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it.
The American Liberty Tour isn’t like the Tea Party Express. It’s not about going to each stop to host a huge motivational rally. We do some of that, like the 2500 person Salt Lake City rally on 9/12 … but it’s not the main purpose.
The American Liberty Tour also isn’t like Right Online, CPAC or those other conferences. Classes and lectures training the movers and shakers how to do what they do, but better. There’s some of that, certainly. Our training courses, provided by American Majority, are for both novice and expert alike. Real world actions you can take in the cause of liberty and in defense of conservative ideals and the American way of life. But that’s not our only purpose.
The American Liberty Tour isn’t a personality tour, either. It’s not a come-look-at-me self-indulgence like the left is famous for … although there’s some of that. I’ve been hosting a “vlog” journal of behind the scenes, off-rally footage that’s fairly irreverent. We want to show ourselves as the everyday, cut-up, normal folks we are. We joke. We sing karaoke … horribly. We joke. We are not, in other words, the cartoon monsters the left would have you believe. But again, this is not what the tour is about.
Because the tour is all those things, and we do all those things. But the tour is about the people we meet at every stop.
Tonight, a working single mother came up to me after my talk in Salina, Kansas. She thanked me for being there, I thanked her for being there. She said that she got so much more out of this rally than she had at the tea party, because she felt like she knew what to do next. Then she said “I’m just so glad you all are out here showing us that Kansas isn’t alone.”
Kansas isn’t alone. Neither are the often lonely conservatives we met in California. Neither are the dedicated activists we met in Utah, or the bikers we met in Nevada. Folks, none of us is alone.
There’s something we’ve learned this year. The conservative movement is alive and well. Maybe it’s not organized yet. Maybe we don’t all know what to do next. Maybe the libertarians and the socons have some things to work out. But baby, we’re working it. City to city, state to state, I am meeting hundreds of people who want to get engaged. And I got news for y’all on the left: we’re helping them get there.
Hundreds of people who weren’t plugged in to facebook and twitter now are. Thousands who weren’t getting emails about conservative issues now are. We helped Californians meet up to discuss how to get out DeVote for DeVore. We helped Kansans reach out to the national level. We helped grandparents learn how to read blogs and we helped young people understand what it means to be a citizen journalist.
Folks, this is activism. This is grass roots. We’re living it. And man it feels good.
Here at Redstate, we too can feel lonely. Sometimes we don’t know if anyone out there in the great expanse that is this great nation is really paying attention. Well they are. They are listening, they are engaged, and they want to know what to do next. With the American Liberty Tour, with blogs like Redstate and networks like Twitter, we can help them do it. YOU can help.
So please, visit the tour site and find out if we’re going to be near you. Or if you can’t participate, you could donate. And if you can’t do either of those things, emulate. Go out to your community, or just to your circle of family and friends, and get them involved. Get them signed up for the RedState Morning Briefing. Tell them about the tour. Send them to the American Majority website to find out how they can take the next step.
The time is now. We’re all activists now.