Operation American Spring waiting on millions

Two OAS attendees comfort each other by the reflecting pool, in a photo by Carl Woodward

Two OAS attendees comfort each other by the reflecting pool. Photo by Carl Woodward

Reliable coverage of Operation American Spring has been hard to find, maybe because major media outlets are colluding to cover up a popular movement that threatens to restore constitutional government, and maybe because hardly anyone showed up. Although organizers predicted a turnout between 10 and 30 million, only a few hundred people attended—and that number comes from OAS itself. According to this mean-spirited photo essay by Carl Woodward—in which he congratulates himself on foreseeing “weeks ago” that their plan wouldn’t work—OAS attendees were so few as to be indistinguishable among the families there for a GW commencement.

We know one guy showed up, though: Jeremy White, interviewed here by Lisa Cerda. Warning: their/there errors ahead. Warning two: we shouldn’t take White as representative of the entire Operation American Spring movement. He’s only one man, which makes him a mere 4% of the total organization, but still his views seem to suggest something about this Tea Party-endorsed plan to overthrow the US federal government.

Predictably, he is a little disappointed. He remains faithful, though, in the most literal sense. White believes that his life and the cause to which he devoted one weekend of it are ordained by God, even so far as to make Him responsible for mileage. Quote:

Before I was offered the ride down, I said a prayer basically asking God if you want me to go than you will supply the ride or gas for me to drive there. Well he supplied the ride so I knew everything would be ok. I messaged a few people trying to figure out what to do, being that our funds were low, and we still needed to get home. After messaging some people, someone I met that day, we rented a hotel room for the night. That was never the plan but clearly it was God’s plan.

Sic of sics, all is sic. I admire White’s confidence, but a cursory reading of the Bible will indicate that God is not willing to arrange hotel accommodations, even for his favorites. Also, White is sufficiently dedicated to his politics to overthrow the US government, but not so dedicated that he is willing to pay for gas to DC. That is a particular mindset, right there.

Specifically, it’s a mindset that puts daily annoyances on the same plane as titanic forces. Later in the interview, White implies that his Facebook account was blocked in order to keep him from posting videos of the event to the internet. That act of censorship coincided with his unsuccessfully trying to log in seven consecutive times from a hotel room outside his home state, but White attributes it to conspiracy.

This conflation of what bothers him about recent American history and what bothers him about his day seems to be a motive force in his political thinking. Late in the interview, he makes a telling substitution. Quote:

I walked to the Washington monument and as I was getting closer and closer I realized there were well over 100 people possibly 150 to 200 at the time and that was quit uplifting but I was expecting more like a million. So it was still a little let down. As I approached the crowd and said hi to people and listened to the speakers, I thought to myself, this isn’t too bad. Hell, we beat the million Muslim march, with their 17 people they started with. So either way I knew it was going to be a good day.

I believe he’s thinking of the Million Man March, and it started with a damn sight more than 17 people. But I am less interested in his ability to estimate crowds than his conflation of black people and Muslims. Coming from a man who believes God wanted him to go to Washington and depose President Obama, that substitution confirms my least charitable assessments of this event.

So here is a more charitable assessment: Jeremy White cares about his unsound, ridiculous understanding of politics the way we all should. He is so engaged in what he perceives as happening in recent American history that he is willing to go to DC, with no plan whatsoever, to start a new federal government.

The no-plan part of that is not admirable. Probably, a true patriot would make a greater investment, both in reservations and in resources. And a truly engaged person would not be able to nurse such a warped understanding of how this country works. But I ask you—you who are smarter and wield more resources than Mr. White, and whom this country needs much more than it needs him: what have you done to fix America lately?

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