There is nothing like seeing your heroes in person, so I was thrilled to have a chance to hear Vice President Mike Pence and several important Arizona police officers speak at a Back the Blue rally last week. Since we are not connected familially to a member of law enforcement, however, when we arrived at the upscale La Paloma Resort we found that we had to wait in line with the “General Public,” meaning that we would only gain entrance once all the ticket holders were seated. As I waited with my grandmother, sister, brother, and mother, I began to examine the people waiting in line all about me.
As I studied the people around me, I realized that this crowd was different in many ways from the crowds I have been stuck with recently at the store. For one thing, even a large percentage of the elderly people had removed their masks or pulled them down so that, as they gathered in little knots, they could more easily converse. As someone with respiratory problems (who was recently screamed at by an hysterical and accusatory elderly woman in the store for not having my mask all the way over my nose), I appreciated the lax atmosphere in which one could remove his mask without worrying about being thought a murderer by his neighbors. Throughout the experience, if security asked us specially or our nearer neighbors seemed uncomfortable mask-less, we all obligingly put our masks on. The general feeling, however, was that we didn’t need the masks, they were merely a tiresome restriction, and we would only wear them for the comfort and good of other people and the peace of mind of the security.
Everyone seemed more friendly and less afraid overall than most of the people I have encountered lately. This Wuhan Virus hysteria has engendered so much social distrust, if not outright hostility, that it was cheering to notice how comfortable people were standing close to each other to talk. The elderly women next to us in line removed their masks and were perfectly happy for us to do the same, and we exchanged friendly comments with those waiting beside us. Not only that, but nearly everyone was in very bright and obviously patriotic garb. Almost everyone was wearing some combination of red, white, and blue (even the men in suits), and many people were wearing tee shirts with patriotic messages, USA or MAGA hats, or the American flag as a shawl or skirt. We were all very proud to be American and we were eager to show everyone else our fervent patriotism not only by showing up to the rally but also by wearing patriotic clothing.
We made it into the rally with a couple of hours to spare. There were a number of preliminary speakers, beginning with a sheriff, who bemoaned the lies and hatred being flung at police as a whole because of a few unusual incidents. “No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop,” said the sheriff, “but I would love to have more budget to train my officers.” One speaker in particular, the head of a police union, had a very striking speech—striking because of the hard-hitting and little-known facts which he revealed. These included the information that over 400,000 children went missing due to child trafficking around the border last year. 400,000 children! No media outcry, no widespread outrage—but when a couple of criminals get killed in run-ins with police, the entire country erupts into chaos. The speaker mourned that the “inmates are running the asylum” and earnestly insisting that one of the reasons so many children go missing is because law enforcement are underfunded and undertrained. Isn’t that typical of Marxists like the radical Leftists? They deliberately create the problem and then blame the people trying to solve it.
AZ Governor Doug Ducey and Senator Martha McSally also spoke, voicing their support for law enforcement and their hope that Arizona would send blue-backing Republicans to state and federal congresses this year. At last, however, Vice President Mike Pence was introduced. It was then that the disruptive and unexpected occurred—two young white males (calling them “men” would be stretching it a bit far) who looked as if they were typical protestors of our days (e.g., privileged college students) jumped up and began screaming obscenities. “Black Lives Matter!” bawled the taller of the two, practically leaping into the air in his self-righteous excitement, evidently missing the fact that there were numerous cops who were people of color there, while he himself was whiter than Kamala Harris’ ancestors. Then he started a sort of Alinsky-like sacred mantra; “F—k Pence! F—k Trump! F—k Pence!” His companion sort of mumbled indistinct things through his mask which we might, if we chose, interpret to be scathing condemnations of our various unspecified crimes.
A booing began in one corner of the room and soon we were all joining in as the security guards began hustling the increasingly frenzied and vile protestors out. Then Pence, showing as much graciousness and class as the protestors had shown vulgarity and immaturity, took the wind out of their sails. With a huge smile, he called out, “Good morning, Arizona!” We all swung round and burst into enthusiastic applause. The protestors were still shrieking the F word, but practically no one was paying attention anymore except security, and their voices were almost entirely drowned out by the cheering and clapping for the smiling and waving Vice President.
Vice President Mike Pence almost immediately launched into a speech which was articulate, intelligent, inspiring, and chock full of hard-hitting facts. He expressed his and President Trump’s pride in having consistently supported law enforcement officers in this country. He mourned the rising murder rate in the US, especially the number of child victims of shootings. He explained President Trump’s new “Operation Legend,” named after a little African-American boy named Legend who was shot inside his house while sleeping in a pillow fort Legend and his father had built. Pence expressed sympathy with all those who have suffered racial injustice but also decried the equal injustice and disruptive, violent chaos of the rioters who have become anything but “peaceful protestors.”
“All of my heroes have always worn uniforms,” said the Vice President, adding that one of his clearest childhood memories was of visiting his uncle’s family and seeing his uncle leave every morning for work in a police uniform. Pence pointed out serious problems and then offered concrete solutions. Finally, Pence asked the people of Arizona to do their part by voting in Republican nominees both to state and federal Congresses and by re-electing Donald Trump as President of the United States to ensure the “rule of law and order,” and the triumph of justice, liberty, and security over chaos, injustice, and violence. “Make America Great Again!” the Vice President ended, his voice ringing through the hall, and we in the audience all leaped to our feet to cheer and applaud, swept up in the excitement, and eager to assure the Vice President that we are ready to do our part.
My family and I all left the rally with a renewed enthusiasm for the battle against the radical Left and a firm resolve to be more outspoken and more active, to do whatever we can to support the rule of law and order. My twelve-year-old sister, who had videotaped Pence’s entire speech, wanted to share her excitement over hearing and seeing the Vice President and his speech with her friends. My grandmother jumped back out of our car when a cavalcade of motorcyclist policemen passed so that she could applaud them and call, “Thank you for your service!” My mom and brother promptly messaged my other siblings to tell them how great of an experience the rally was, and how they should have come, too. And I—well, of course, I wrote this article. But I also made an account on my college’s job site specifically so that I could apply to be a volunteer door-to-door canvasser in Front Royal, Virginia, leading up to the election. A democratic society, as Alexis de Tocqueville once noticed in his travels across America, only thrives if every citizen takes a personal responsibility not only for his own actions but for the actions of his elected officials. For too long, we enemies of the radical Left have stayed quiet, tried to keep under the radar, and gone about our daily business without much-paying attention to politics. We cannot afford to ignore the Marxist revolution now, though. The battle for America’s soul has begun—and every one of us has a personal duty to participate, in whatever way we can. Let’s take America back again!