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Take America Back 2010 Convention Recap
By Michael Duncan on August 30, 2010
Last weekend the Tea Party movement took another critical step toward bringing change to America in November. The Take America Back 2010 Convention on Friday night at DAR Constitution Hall was a huge success, drawing over 3,000 dedicated grassroots activists.
The convention began with FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey welcoming the crowd to Washington and encouraged them to stay active in this important election season. Mrs. Armey also spoke about the importance of protecting our country's financial future for our grandchildren.
Next on stage was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who drew loud cheers when she took the podium and shouted to the crowd, "This is what freedom looks like!"
Bachmann talked about the dedication of grassroots activists and about turning the positive energy of the Tea Party movement into results in November.
"It would be so much fun if all of us could just stay here and enjoy this for the next 67 days," said Rep. Bachmann. "We'd have parades and parties and just a whale of a time here in Washington, D.C. but we know we have alot of work to do back home."
Utah Senate Candidate and FreedomWorks PAc Champion of Freedom Mike Lee, who ousted RINO incumbent Bob Bennet in the Republican primary, shifted the discussion to the spending problems in Washington and politicians' disregard for the Constitution.
"It was never supposed to be that way and if Congress followed the rulebook it wouldn't be that way," said Lee, holding up a copy of the Constitution. "Of course, in this crowd, you know what I'm talking about, it's not a new rule book, it's a 223 year-old rulebook."
When people forget the Constitution, Lee said, they become the very people the document aimed to limit in the first place.
"They started asking if they could but not if they should," said Lee. "Tyranny comes from a king, or an elected official or an elected president who thinks he's a king."
The feeling of being ignored by elected officials was a theme of the evening and became a rallying call to vote out the big government spenders in November.
"They are a political class, elected to serve us but serve themselves," echoed Champion of Freedom Keith Fimian (VA-11). "Yes, the elitists."
Unfortunately not all of FreedomWOrks' Champions of Freedom could make it to the program, but Marco Rubio, Dino Rossi and Rand Paul all left video messages for the crowd where they explained issues facing their states and urged activists to stay focused on November.
The audience also got special treat when Glenn Beck made a surprise appearance on stage. Beck was in town preparing for Saturday's Restoring Honor rally which centered around the themes of Faith, Charity and Hope. Beck spoke about the importance of aligning our values with those of God, that God is not on our side but rather we must be on his side.
"Expect miracles, because God's freedom, God's rights, He's not done with man being free," said Beck. "If we fail here, where, as Ronald Reagan said, will the rest of the world run? They have no place to run, so you and I have no choice but to stand for the freedom of God that God endowed us all with."
Not just big names and candidates spoke, but also grassroots activists Gena Bell and Jennifer Bernstone, who highlighted the importance of working together to have the greatest effect in November.
"We need to work with FreedomWorks," said Bell. "We need to stay organized to counter the well-funded groups on the Left."
Both Bell from Ohio and Bernstone of New York are relatively new to politics, becoming active during the bailouts of 2008. Bernstone even ran one of Doug Hoffman's campaign headquarters in the heated NY-23 special election last fall.
Greg Holloway, of Contract From America, spoke to the crowd about getting more candidates to sign the contract. Candidates who have signed the contract during the primaries have seen grassroots activism surge them forward in the polls.
The two-hour program was punctuated with musical numbers by Phillips Rogers, Jon David Kahn and a viewing of Reverand C.L. Bryant's trailer for his film "Runaway Slave". The film urges all Americans of all races to runaway from the failures of socialism, statism and progressivism.
FreedomWorks Champion of Liberty Charles Lollar (MD-5) spoke about how he is proof that the charges of racism in the Tea Party movement from the liberal media are false.
"I tell my volunteers I don't even fit the profile," laughed Lollar, who is an
African-American. "Some of you will get that one on the way home.
"We understand it's not about color, or about party, it's about our freedom and somebody better start listening," said Lollar.
The program concluded with a rousing speech from FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe who lauded the strength of a truly leaderless movement of dedicated activists.
"That's what this decentralized movement is all about. FreedomWorks isn't in charge of this thing. You guys are. And we need you to let us know if we still are adding value."
He also encouraged the crowd with what we could accomplish after the election.
"This is not a two month commitment. This is a lifetime commitment. Get ready on November 3rd to start driving the national agenda based on lower taxes, less government and more freedom."
After the program, attendees ate barbecue and circulated around the DAR Constitution Hall gathering yard signs, t-shirts and other gifts to take back home. We hope the best takeaway of all was a new sense of purpose as we approach this crucial midterm election season.
Click here for some photos from the event