Fifty years ago was the historic civil rights march on Washington, which was highlighted by Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech–the most memorable parts of which apparently were ad libbed. Paul has written memorably about attending that march as a boy; if you want to be reminded of why it was an important event, read his post. Today the Democratic Party staged a 50-year anniversary event on the Mall, but as far as I can tell, no one cared.
Attendance was pathetic, something like 20,000, many of them no doubt showing up under duress. That would be a mediocre crowd for a mixed martial arts title bout and an impossibly small crowd for a tractor pull.
The speeches were stupid or worse. They included the invariable left-wing litany–gay marriage! Voter fraud! It was a tough competition, but Bill Clinton may have made the single dumbest claim, that it is “harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” Actually, to buy any weapon you not only have to present identification, you have to fill out a form attesting that you are not a felon, an illegal immigrant, etc., and then wait while the dealer runs a background check on you. We Republicans would settle for only a small portion of that routine–just a requirement that you identify yourself before you vote, the way you do to buy a six-pack, not an “assault weapon.”
I caught part of President Obama’s speech, when he quoted King. Obama’s version fell flat because he had no idea how to deliver the lines, and didn’t even seem to understand what King’s words meant. The guy would have to improve to be a mediocre speaker.
Today’s event was purely partisan, as demonstrated by the fact (reported by Drudge and many others) that the only black Senator, Tim Scott, was not invited. Nor, as far as I can tell, were any other black conservatives or moderates. It was a Dem-fest, through and through.
But no one cares. The civil rights movement is dead–dead like the anti-slavery movement, because its goals have been accomplished. The current political “movement,” led by con men like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama, has nothing to do with civil rights, and everyone knows it. Which is why today’s event was not just a dud, but a dud that is hardly worth discussing.