Hard to sugarcoat what was for me a launching disaster.
On the 16th, flash floods, heavy rain and cold winds ushered in what, at best, can be described as an anemic OAS turn-out on the Washington Mall. Though we put our best face forward, the acute disappointment—indeed, the dismay-- among the few hundred OAS participants was palpable.
Owing to the paucity of participants--variously reported as somewhere between 324 to 2,000--it was often difficult to even locate the rally amid the throng of tourists which dwarfed the number of OAS participants on the Mall.
Once the weather cleared, we cautiously anticipated an appreciable uptick in participant numbers on Saturday, the 17th. But, alas, the weekend "crowd" was no less anemic.
Though we met some stalwart and energized patriots from all over the country and enjoyed a pleasant meeting with Col. Riley at the Washington Monument—he actually remembered me—my companions and I couldn’t shake our painful disappointment.
Among OAS participants, here are some of the refrains, or variations thereof, we so often heard: “What happened? “I can’t believe this.” “So where are all those patriots?” “This is scary.” “This is terrible.” “This is embarrassing.” “This sucks.” “I’m pissed. Doesn’t anyone care?” “This is ridiculous.” And the most poignant: “It really is all over, isn’t it.” “Man, are we in trouble.”
Recalling what appeared to have been a sizable and determined internet base of supporters and prospective participants, the dismal OAS showing was both surprising and mystifying to us all.
So, what DID happen?
While speakers from among the participants added some congealing fervor, I couldn’t help shake the notion that high-profile patriotic speakers may well have encouraged more participation, more clout. Apparently, even patriots like to be “entertained”. But, that's only speculation.
Also, I can't ignore Glenn Beck's mischaracterization of OAS as "irreponsible and dangerous", and who, onThe Blaze, equated OAS with the 1848 Marxist "Spring of Nations", describing OAS hearts as "cold and hard". That ringing endorsement did little to rally supporters. And then there were other “conservative” personalities and bloggers who described the event as a “coup”. Wow!
Coupled with a virtual media black-out leading up to the May 16th launch, I naturally wondered if the cacophony of negativity from the right hadn't, in fact, fatally undermined the OAS effort from the start. In this vein, I wondered if it was possible that self-destructive and narcissistic turf wars among patriotic organizations and personalities on both the local and national levels may have materially contributed to the discouraging OAS launch. OR was it simply a matter of “sunshine patriots” doing what they do best: whine and complain, but ignominiously failing to get off their dead asses and be counted? Well, from my lowly perspective, all of these toxic factors most certainly contributed to the lackluster launch.
If there is a lesson here, for me it is this: if there is no fire in the belly of patriots, no sense of urgency, no recognition that only convincing action—not blog posts and commentary alone--can turn the Marxist tide, then the OAS effort will continue to limp along to little or no avail and the country’s downward spiral into a fetid socialist abyss will be irreversible.
So, in short, and despite the single-minded leadership of Col. Riley and the dedication of OAS organizers and participants alike, the OAS launch was extraordinarily disappointing and, for me, it does not bode well for the Republic's survival.
Happily, Col. Riley, undeterred, intends to push forward with the hope that real patriots from around the country will eventually step up and be counted, failing which, folks, it REALLY is all over.