Tea Party draws mix of attendees, opinions

To the editor:

We were in Searchlight Saturday for the rally. We walked 40 minutes after parking our car to reach the rally site. My wife said it was like a religious sermon on the mount. Thousands of people all gathered in hopes of being part of a revolution to take back America.

I think we have.

It was interesting to see thousands of people all gathered in one spot with the same mind-set. Good people who are fed up with what is going on in America. We could only get close enough to see Sarah Palin from afar — we couldn’t even hear what she was saying, the only thing we heard was the cheer of the crowd. That seemed good enough for us.

As we left, as many people were arriving as were leaving. I guess they were there just for the sake of it.

The long walk back to the car didn’t seem as long. People were smiling and cheerful and seemed at peace. It was very refreshing to know that America is great because her people are great. God Bless America.

Harry Pender

Las Vegas

To the editor:

Review-Journal Publisher Sherman Frederick compared the Searchlight invasion to Woodstock (Sunday column).

Well, let’s see. Woodstock had very little publicity. No local paper or national cable news network made it its business to promote it for free for weeks. Woodstock was attended by at least a half-million. Generous estimates of the Searchlight gabfest show about 10,000 people attended, not including Republican-based media. Woodstock promoted three days of peace and love. The Searchlight publicity stunt provided a couple of hours of rhetoric and hate speech.

Yeah, they were just the same.

Randall Buie


To the editor:

The Tea Party that was held this past weekend would have been more aptly named the “sheep round-up.” Unfortunately, there were a lot of well-meaning, honestly concerned citizens interspersed throughout the crowd apparently unaware that they were, in fact, at a Sarah Palin, pro-Republican publicity bash.

I agree that a major overhaul is needed in our country. This so called “Tea Party revolution,” however, is aimed only at Democrats, by Republicans. That is not the definition of a Tea Party revolution.

If the instigators of this movement were sincere, they would hold a rally at each and every hometown and city of each and every member of Congress. Individually, there are many good people in Congress. However, collectively they are a bunch of do-nothing obstructionists, unless there is something in it for “their” party. “We the people” for the most part wind up with the short end of the stick. The special interests of both parties get the cream off the top.

Anyone who thinks that this current administration or only the Democrats are to blame for the mess this country is in has my sincere concern for their mental illness. To clarify for anyone who thinks I might lean one way or the other politically, I am, and will remain, a registered nonpartisan. I don’t have a dog in the fight. I am concerned with the nation as a whole.

Bob Shue


To the editor:

Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith, writing Sunday about the Searchlight Tea Party, said the “make-up of the crowd was older and almost exclusively white.”

Well, surprise, surprise. The draft and the final U.S. Constitution were written by older white people.

This need not be a diversity issue. It is about whoever gets it. The Tea Party people and others do. They understand the domain of the federal government, and they understand the truth that the federal government must be limited to operate within the framework of the Constitution.

Walter Sobole

Las Vegas

To the editor:

My friends and I had the pleasure of attending the Searchlight and Henderson Tea Party rallies on Saturday. Rather than rave about the speakers, such as Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, both of whom were informative, pithy, humorous and well-received, I’d like to make some observations about the attendees and the press coverage.

At the Searchlight event, the news media did their best to drown out Sarah Palin’s message via four helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft which noisily hovered above the rally. I suggest the Obama-controlled FAA place at least a two-mile restricted zone around future events of this kind. Of course, the high winds also contributed to the sound system problems, and I doubt that was politically motivated.

The liberal news media predictably tried to downplay the support for these Tea Party events: CNN reported “at least dozens of people” attended the Searchlight rally. Realistically, I believe the aerial photos taken at Searchlight will support a crowd estimate between 7,000 to 8,000 participants.

As far as angry, uncivil protesters go, the Tea Party attendees might be angry about the direction our country is headed, but everyone we saw was in good humor and well-behaved. The only uncivil actions recorded were those of Sen. Harry Reid supporters, who assaulted Tea Party Express buses by throwing eggs at them.

Seeing the enthusiasm, patriotism and civility of Americans of all ages, who care enough about our country to participate in the Tea Party movement, renews my belief in the goodness of America.

Beware, all you liberal socialists: You have finally awoken the American sleeping giant, consisting of patriotic Americans who believe, as our founding forefathers did, that our Constitution is intended to constrain federal powers.

John J. Erlanger

Las Vegas

To the editor:

For the first time in months, I read John L. Smith’s Sunday column, on the Tea Party, and actually enjoyed it — at least some of it. He, like so many left-leaning journalists, feels he has to make snide remarks and insinuations and make up stuff as he goes along. This makes up the first half of his report.

But then, in the second half, he surprised me. He actually showed that he could ask probative questions, observe without being judgmental, and write a good column, being objective and truthful. In other words, do a real journalist’s job: report the facts and let the readers decide.

But then again, most of his readers need to have things explained to them, else they will spill their Kool-Aid.

On the whole, a very good job, Mr. Smith.

Bill Wilderman

Las Vegas

To the editor:

The pictures in Sunday’s Review-Journal of the Tea Party gathering in Searchlight to protest the health care law showed that the majority of attendees were at least 65 years old. On principle, I wonder how many of them refuse to avail themselves of the forced, government-run health care system called Medicare? I wonder if any of them ever thanked Lyndon B. Johnson and the Democratic Congress of 1965 for creating Medicare over the protests of Republicans?

The biggest story coming out of the rally in Searchlight is the hypocrisy of those in attendance.

Robert Bencivenga


To the editor:

In response to Monday’s article, “Tea Party dogma difficult to define,” the reporters described the attendees as “a motley mix of Republicans, libertarians, gadflies and disgruntled grandparents.” Really? I wonder if they were there.

I went to the Tea Party Express “Showdown in Searchlight” on Saturday with a dear friend. It was an amazing experience. From the time we hit the highway, we were greeted with honks, thumbs up and cheers. The trip in was slow. Traffic was backed up for at least five miles. We parked on the shoulder of the highway about three miles from the event site — parking at the event was full long before we got close, so I just pulled off the road with everyone else, and we started walking.

Passing motorists waved, cheered and waved their U.S. flags. Eighteen-wheelers were blowing their horns constantly. Groups of motorcycles roared down the highway, American flags streaming in the wind. It took quite awhile to get there — we heard only the end of Sarah Palin’s speech, but the speeches weren’t the important part of the day.

Being part of the experience was phenomenal. The energy and love of country hung thick in the air. I was close to tears several times. I walked down the highway with people old and young, being pushed in wheelchairs and strollers. Some walked with canes and others with limps, all with the same goal: come together, be heard, be seen and be counted. Let them know we are awake and we will not be run over anymore.

The only gadflies there were the Harry Reid supporters, about 35 in all, with their preprinted signs, armed with eggs. They attacked one of the Tea Party buses with their slimy arsenal. Can you believe it? They actually threw eggs.

So my question: Which side of the debate is prone to incite violence? Out of the thousands and thousands who were gathered to profess their love of God and country, I didn’t see a single egg.

Julie Hinkly

Las Vegas

To the editor:

In response to the Monday story, “Tea Party dogma difficult to define,” by Benjamin Spillman and Steve Tetreault:

Mr. Tetreault must be spending too much time in Washington corrupting his — and probably Mr. Spillman’s — ability to see the truth. Nice move comparing Tea Party ideology to defining pornography. And thanks for labeling us folks who attended Saturday’s event in Searchlight as “the motley mix of Republicans, libertarians, gadflies and disgruntled grandparents.”

Here’s a news flash: There were folks there who are registered Democrats, and those who attended were hardly “motley.” I saw young mothers and fathers with their children and well-behaved people from many other walks of life at that event.

It’s too bad you have such great difficulty in defining what the Tea Party movement represents, and who we are — those of us who attended. You fellows need to open your eyes and see what all of us saw at Saturday’s event.

Here’s a description of the crowd for you: Patriots.

Jacob Kessel


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