Countering Glenn Beck’s Tea Party-oriented rally, labor and minority activist groups convened in Washington DC over the weekend, taking on an overtly partisan tone to energize the left-leaning base for the upcoming midterm elections.
Partisanship at One Nation, the name of the rally, appeared to be a bit more blatant than what occurred at the Restoring Honor Rally held just a few weeks earlier. Beck specifically asked his audience to leave political signs at home via the official website advertising for his event and also through a video promoting the event as well. And while he resorted to his usual conservative-slanted rhetoric once he returned to the airwaves, his Lincoln Memorial event was itself very faith-based and non-combative in nature.
By contrast, the opposite can be said of the One Nation Event. Attendees brought signs that took shots at the Tea Party movement and Republicans as a whole, implying that the “right” was the party of hate and not of hope. While there were some signs at the Restoring Honor rally taking shots at liberal policies, politically charged signs and intense rhetoric did not dominate that event.
Perhaps most telling at One Nation was that the various signs attendees brought also emphasized scattered agendas they wanted the current administration to tackle, from ending the current wars waged by the United States to achieving immigration reform. The Beck rally, by contrast, had a more concentrated message with religious and limited government undertones.
While the Beck event seemed to draw a somewhat broader audience, One Nation brought together a more niche audience of union members from various work sectors. In fact, unions had the most physical presence at this weekend’s rally. In terms of numbers, a pictorial comparison revealed that Beck’s rally brought more people to DC than did One Nation, despite the fact that one speaker at One Nation claimed the contrary.
It is also worth noting that, just as Tea Party members attended Beck’s event, Coffee Party members latched onto the One Nation event as way of showing the political ideals with which they identify.