Courtesy of Charles Lemos at MyDD, here are two photos of the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool area of the National Mall. The first photo is from August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, attended by approximately 250,000 people.
Now, compare to August 28, 2010. As Charles Lemos says, “In 1963, 0.0013228 percent of the US population was present to hear Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech. At Beckamania just 0.000281 percent of the US population came to hear the ramblings of a certifiable pair of morons.” That would be 87,000 (overwhelmingly white) people to hear Glenn Beck, as estimated by independent/private outfit AirPhotosLive.com (the right wingnuts are throwing around “numbers” as high as 2 million, which of course is as delusional as their political philosophy). So, MLK had 3 times the people – and a much more diverse crowd, as well – attending his rally at a time when the U.S. population was just 189 million (compared to about 310 million in 2010). Yesterday was a beautiful day, couldn’t ask for better weather in Washington, DC, so that’s certainly not why attendance was such a dud. Heck, the inaugural concert for Barack Obama’s inauguration, held on January 18, 2009, had 400,000 attendees in the dead of winter, with temperatures in the 20s. So, maybe yesterday’s Beck/Palin attendance “fail” has more to do with the (deeply flawed) messengers and the (incoherent, angry) message they’re delivering?
UPDATE: The Washington Post utterly fails again, describing Beck’s rally as “a sea of activists” and “an enormous crowd.” Uh, sorry, but 87,000 people isn’t “a sea” or “enormous.” It’s a low-medium-sized rally on the Mall, much smaller than the Million Man March (400,000), the pro-immigration-reform “March for America” (200,000), the pro-choice “March for Women’s Lives” (500,000-1.1 million), an anti-war demonstration on January 18, 2003 (100,000-200,000), the March on Washington for Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation (300,000), and many others. So, if Beck’s rally was “enormous,” what were these other rallies? Super ginormous? LOL
UPDATE #2: Excellent article by Robert McCartney, explaining how the Beck and Palin fans’ “apocalyptic views hinder constructive political debate”.