Next week, One Nation Working Together, which is a coalition of progressive organizations, is holding a rally in D.C. to let our politicians and media know that the American people still strongly support the progressive change that we voted for in 2008. If you are able to attend, I urge you to sign up here. If you cannot make it to D.C., you can get involved in one of the many events occurring throughout the country by clicking here.
Many people see the One Nation Working Together rally as a reaction to the tea party rallies that have been held over the past year or so. But one key difference (among others) is that the One Nation Working Together rally represents a movement of Americans who support making our great country a fairer and more just place to live. By contrast, the tea party is little more than a paper tiger that is propped up by the billionaires and corporate front groups for whom the tea partiers are unwittingly doing their bidding.
That the tea party is just a paper tiger can be seen from the turnouts at their rallies over the past year or so that the tea party is so famous for. For example:
- On the eve of the historic health care reform vote in March 2010, tea partiers managed to turn out only 300 protestors in D.C.
- Turnout at this year’s tea party 9/11 rallies numbered in only the thousands
- Last year’s 9/12 tea party rally in D.C. was attended by only 60,000-70,000 people
- Glenn Beck’s ridiculous attempt to steal the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King had approximately 87,000 attendees
By contrast, progressive rallies have long had substantial turnout. For example:
- At least 1.5 million people attended President Obama’s inauguration, which easily beat the previous record of 1.2 million who attended President Johnson’s inauguration in 1964
- In March 2006, 500,000 people rallied for progressive immigration reform in Los Angeles, 100,000 in Chicago, 50,000 in Denver, 10,000 in Milwaukee
- 500,000 to 800,000 people attended a 2004 Pro-Choice rally in D.C.
- 200,000 people attended an October 2009 rally for LGBTQ equality
- 200,000 rallied in D.C. for progressive immigration reform in March 2010
Too often over the past year, progressives have cowered in fear of the tea party and other conservatives out of an apparent belief that they somehow represent the vast majority of our country. That fear needs to end because it is based on a falsehood of tea partier popularity. It is true that as progressives we do not have billionaires and corporate front groups to bankroll us or an entire media network like Fox to promote us. But what we do have is a large and committed group of millions of Americans who strongly believe in the progressive values that are shared by the majority in our country. We need to make that clear to our leaders and the media by turning out at the One Nation Working Together events next week, and then by working hard to win the elections in November.
Are you fired up about demonstrating that progressive values are widely held in our country and that the tea party is little more than a paper tiger? If so, attend a One Nation Working Together rally, volunteer for the Democratic candidates in your area, write a letter to the editor, and talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about why it is important to return a Democratic majority in November.