It’s been all-but-obvious for some time that it wouldn’t be held, but this week’s official cancellation of next month’s Tea Party rally in neighboring Alamance County hides some major lessons for all local-level Tea Party organizations:
1) Any rally that gets held is better than the “perfect” rally that never happens. An “ordinary” rally – with local-only speakers – is assured attendance by hundreds in this area, based on the past two years’ experience in this county and adjoining Alamance County; it also is assured major press coverage the next day – sure to be seen by every local politician and locally-elected congressmen. Any “ordinary” rally that happens thus is much more effective than the “perfect” rally starring Sarah Palin that never happens locally due to logistical difficulties.
2) Set the date first. Don’t expect to get any speakers at all without a date set first – especially the kind of big-name speaker that Alamance County organizer Steve Carter was trying to get.
3) If you hold it, they will come. Any local rally will have no trouble getting local officeholders to commit to speak at it as soon as the date is set; last June’s rally at the same location (Holly Hill Mall) that Alamance County organizers were trying to hold the “spectacular” at got Rep. Howard Coble, the local congressman, as a speaker – along with lots of local politicians eager to have the opportunity to speak to voters en masse free of charge.
4) If you hold it, the people will come, too. As every rally in this county and in neighboring Alamance County since fall 2009 has proven, hundreds of people will come out to any announced Tea Party rally – even if no big-name speaker is going to be there.
5) Trying to hold a “spectacular” will likely trap you on the calendar. The failed May rally in Alamance County was planning for sometime in May to avoid the too-hot weather that was brutal at last June 19’s rally at that location – but now won’t be any sooner than late August for the same reason. Trying to work around the big-name speaker’s own calendar – and the limited number of weekends – will likely be too difficult.
6) “Spectaculars” may well just be too difficult for local Tea Party groups to do. Does anyone know of any local Tea Party rally yet that has featured a speaker on the level of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck?