The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner


The Voter’s March – May 19, 2001 (Armed Forces Day) – Part I
Another Expression of Liberal Illogic

Michael A. Wallace

mwallace@americasvoices.org      
biography
archives


June 6, 2001


From the Editor:

America’s Voices is pleased to welcome ConservaVets.org as a site partner: an organization whose patriotic and political beliefs mirror ours and which has an established presence and audience on the web.  AmericasVoices.org and ConservaVets.org will exchange commentators and link to articles and resources on each other’s sites.

With this series, we are introducing the co-founders: Mike Wallace and Dave Dilegge, in a 4-part series in which Mike provides an eyewitness account of their experiences at the May 19, 2001, VoterMarch protest in Washington, D.C.  This is the first segment.  Look for Parts 2-4 over the next week, and for more informative reports from Mike and Dave from the leftists’ trenches.


The liberals came out today to vent yet again claims of victimization and discrimination (by conservatives, naturally).  We learned of the Voter's March a few months ago.  Simply put, it was to be the expression of the liberal's continuing beef about George W. Bush's presidency, and their desire to "reform" the election processes in this country so as to ensure their victory in future elections.

My participation was assured when I received e-mail, written by liberals, describing how they were going to use World War II veterans to protest President Bush's legitimacy as president.  Their plan was to get pictures of WW II veterans, no matter how they voted in the election, and indicate their dates of service on individual posters.  Then they were going to create a large banner with the words denouncing Bush and claiming, "This isn't what we fought and died for."  You think I'm kidding?  The e-mail is appended to this article.

Our day began at the Lincoln Memorial.  Dave Dilegge and I set up the American and Gadsden flags not far from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and displayed four small placards we had used in November and December.  We stood in the early morning and watched the crowds grow, appreciating the scenery of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument and the Capitol in the distance.

Most folks at the Memorial consisted of tour groups, but some were associated with a church group set up on the grass overlooking the Reflecting Pool.  They had pitched camp in a tent there the previous night.  We noted a German group right next to us - with their tour guide in German saying "Forrest Gump" - obviously explaining this was where the character in the movie participated in the protest against the Vietnam War!  We didn't hear her say Martin Luther King's name, no; a fictional character becomes a reference point in history!  Sad, isn't it?  There were many groups of kids, and more than a few groups of Chinese.

Dave and I made it a point to speak to people only if they first spoke to us.  We made no attempt to preach our position, and had nothing to hand out to anyone.  When people stopped to talk, we talked.  Sometime we just helped people find the Korean War Memorial or the Vietnam Memorial.  The flags, the signs, and the Marine Corps emblem and US flag emblem on our "hats" said what our position was with respect to our President and our loyalty to our country.

At 8:30AM a petite lady park ranger, Ms. Deborah Deas, came over to us.  She said, "Advertising isn't allowed and you will have to leave."  We were somewhat incredulous.  Dave did the talking.  He responded that he had researched the National Park Service rules and we were within our First Amendment rights.  He had a permit, although one was not required for groups less than 25 people.  He asked her if she had a copy of the rules on her.  She replied, "No."  She went away, but I had the feeling we'd see her again.  An hour later, she returned with an older park ranger.

I positioned myself to Dave's left, slightly behind, observing closely the two rangers.  This time the older ranger, Mr. Gil Lyons, did the talking.  He said we had to leave because advertising wasn't allowed.  Dave said it wasn't advertising.  Ranger Lyons said something to the effect, why would we even have those signs because he (Bush) is in office anyway.  Dave cited the rules back to the gentleman and then we couldn't believe our ears.  He said, "Well those rules don't apply everywhere and this is private property."  Their argument was so ludicrous as to be unbelievable, and I immediately suspected another motive.  I figured they might be allowing personal bias to influence their behavior as public officials.  I didn't want to, but I did detect intolerance and agitation in Ranger Lyon's eyes and expression.  (Ranger Deas had no such expression.  She didn't say a word in this second encounter, except to respond with her name when Dave asked for it.)  Although I don't know if the gentleman voted in the last election, or for whom, his words and expressions revealed that he didn't like our current President and he certainly didn't like us there with Bush-Cheney signs.  (Think of it, a government employee agitated that we have a sign with the President and Vice President's names!  Think of it, a government employee claiming First Amendment rights don't apply in front of the Lincoln Memorial!  Think of it, a government employee, paid by public tax dollars, claiming a National memorial is private property!)

Nonetheless, Dave shook their hands, got their names, thanked them, and we packed up.  Both of us were unwilling to concede so easily, so we spoke with another park ranger who happened to walk by.  This guy seemed scared to even talk to us about it - he rolled his eyes to the side.  He certainly had no knowledge of First Amendment issues.  He copped out (no pun intended) by saying whatever the first ranger said is what we should do.  It so happened that a National Park Service policeman on a motorcycle had stopped nearby.  We told him what the rangers said and expressed our view that they were wrong.  By this time, Ranger Lyons had walked over to stand next to the policeman.  The motorcycle policeman totally supported us and told the rangers in no uncertain terms that as long as we were not "bothering" anyone, we were free to express ourselves under our First Amendment rights.  There can be little doubt this frosted the two rangers.  After Dave and I set back up, they stood about thirty feet from us for awhile talking about it.

We were amused, and grateful, that the National Park Service policemen had a keen sensitivity to First Amendment issues.  We could have made a scene with the rangers and refused to pack up, forcing them to call the police.  In the end even in that scenario, we would have prevailed, but it would have not been smart to do with children and foreign groups around.

After we set up again, a middle-aged, tall, Chinese gentleman came by.  He spoke English very well, but with an accent that indicated he probably was not from the United States originally.  He asked what we were doing, and Dave told him.  Dave asked where he was from.  New York, but originally from the People's Republic of China.  I will say his name is Joe Chen, but that is not his real name. (I don't trust the Chinese government any more than I trust the Democratic Party in America.)

Joe was there with five gentlemen from the People's Republic of China.  Joe explained what we were doing there and suddenly they all wanted to have their pictures taken with us and to shake our hands.  As Joe introduced one of the gentlemen, Joe said he was from the Chinese government.  Dave and I acted like we were punching and strangling him and Dave said, "We want our plane back!"  We all had a great laugh.

Life is full of ironies, and today had its share.  Here were six Chinese from a communist country making it clear to us that they appreciated the fact we could demonstrate to support our President and the government.  Joe also made it very clear they thought it was ridiculous that Voters March was questioning George W. Bush's presidency.  I found it humbling to see the expression on their faces and hear their appreciation of our Republic.

Dave and I served overseas; we've seen life elsewhere, and we appreciate this country more because of it.  Many foreigners who come to America appreciate what life here can offer, yet many "Americans" born and raised here lack such an appreciation, and instead complain constantly about being victimized and oppressed.  They should move overseas to some garden spots in the world and learn what victimization and oppression is about.  I'll write more about the Chinese later.

At 10:30AM we decided to pack up and pay our respects at the nearby memorials.  The Vietnam Memorial had attracted a large crowd.  You could hear people speaking quietly of lost buddies or family members; you could see people making paper etchings of the names on the Wall, and you could read the poignant notes attached to wreaths, or lying at the base of the Wall.  One wreath had a note attached, signed by an entire class of grade school students from the Midwest.  They were thanking people they never knew.  One simpler note, written in a child's hand, simply said "Sorry", signed with their first name.  Someone left a packet of pictures for one of the names on the Wall.

I've been to the Vietnam Memorial several times, once with my father who served at Chu Lai, and each time the emotions are raw.  You see it in the eyes of veterans who served there, and you see family's pride and pain still to this day for their name on the Wall.  As we slowly walked to the end, I thought what a shame it was for such sacrifice to still be castigated by liberals.  On Armed Forces Day, liberals organized a protest with the intent, as expressed in their web sites and e-mail, to use veterans to disclaim the legitimacy of our President.

Our next stop was the Nurses Memorial, and then to the Korean War Memorial.  There were several Korean War veterans there, silent with their thoughts.  This memorial is in better shape than it was, yet for me, its design does not evoke the same emotions the Wall does.  The South Koreans have war memorials to honor American and UN forces that are far grander than our own memorial!

After honoring the sacrifices of veterans who preceded us, it was time to go check out the liberal's Voter March.  Dave drove toward the Capitol and parked near the Supreme Court.  As we walked toward the Capitol, we noted the lines formed for tours, but didn't see any liberal demonstrators.  We asked a Capitol Hill policeman if Captain Bailor was on duty - he wasn't.  We met Captain Bailor in front of the Supreme Court during the protests there.  Since he wasn't on duty, I couldn't ask the questions I wanted to ask.  The policeman on duty at the gate said the Voters March protest was on the west side of the Capitol, so Dave and I walked around the building.

As we approached, we saw a few protesters, but they were not organized at that point.  We were a half-hour early.  A fourth grade class of children from Worchester, Massachusetts was on the Capitol steps singing about democracy.  I found it simultaneously inspiring and ironic.

We planted our flag in a grill next to a wall, and faced the Capitol.  We happened to pick the spot where the sound crew began setting up, so we had a central location less than 35 feet in front of the speaker's platform.

Watch for Part II on Friday, June 8, 2001.

Copyright © Copyright © 2020, 2003, 2004 by Michael A. Wallace & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Michael A. Wallace is a registered Republican, a former Eagle Scout, a Lifetime Member of the National Rifle Association, a strong believer in Second Amendment rights, a retired Marine officer, and a pro-life advocate –- all things liberals seem to dislike.  In addition to his affiliation with America's Voices, Mike is a founding member of ConservaVets, a conservative veteran's organization (which has since become Rally4America).  Mike uses thorough constitutional and historical research to analyze and explain key moral and political issues of the day.  He particularly enjoys debunking the myths and lies perpetrated by the many liberal groups who claim to speak for most Americans and by those who misrepresent Constitutional principles to further their own agendas.  E-mail Mike at mwallace@americasvoices.org.

 

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner

Awards

D-Day inaugural
feature article

www.americasvoices.org
publisher@americasvoices.org
editor@americasvoices.org
webmaster@americasvoices.org

Disclaimer

Editor's Mailbag
Publishing Guidelines

Copyright © Copyright © 2020, 2003, 2004 by America's Voices, Inc.
Columbus, Ohio.  All rights reserved.

America's Voices, America's Voices University, americasvoices.org and www.AmericasVoices.org are service marks of America's Voices, Inc. a not-for-profit educational organization.