“I am an American,” Pat Boone belted out the other day to an adoring crowd. “Born to be a rootin’, tootin’, flag-waving citizen.”
Boone looked young and fit at 76, with his perpetual tan and stay-press hairdo. As I approached the stage, he was singing the song he’d written for the occasion — the first-ever “Beverly Hills Tea Party” rally.
“I love the Pledge of Allegiance, one nation under God,” Boone sang. “If you can’t say it with me, you’re free to leave, by God. Cuz I am an American. My blood’s red, white and blue.”
And he was just one of the roughly 200 patriots on hand, including a Revolutionary-themed drum and bugle corps, and two guys who waved a “No More Socialism” banner.
Most of the people in the crowd were middle-aged or older, white and very angry in a Libertarian way about taxes and government spending. Several speakers and attendees said the movement isn’t a Republican or Democratic thing; it’s about the fact that political leaders are out of touch elitists, and the political process is broken and bankrupt.
That last part is hard to disagree with.