Despite Tuesday's tragedy, a half-dozen members of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots had fun and won some votes while exercising their freedoms on Election Day.
And our little democracy fest went on all day despite liberals, in complete ignorance of the law, tried -- and failed -- to intimidate us from enjoying our First Amendment rights.
About 8 a.m. Tuesday, we set up in front of a poll at the New Life church on Lugonia Avenue so we could campaign for conservative candidates and causes.
California Elections Code 18370 is explicit that no one can campaign within 100 feet of the front door. Outside of that distance, Californians are free to exercise their freedoms. I measured the distance just in case. We were fine.
So about 9 a.m., a man driving a pickup drove up and identified himself as a member of the "North Side Visioning Committee" and demanded that we leave. He left in a huff when I told him I had the right to be there. Despite having no authority whatsoever, the man conveniently ignored all the James Ramos campaign signs that were closer to the poll than we were.
All that occurred while my liberal wife, amused by our determination to fight for conservative causes, had driven to the poll to give me a doughnut.
All day, drivers honked and gave us thumbs up. Most just looked as they whizzed by. Numerous others either yelled "Obama" and gave us the middle finger as well as a few "F bombs." I couldn't help that many of those had Obama bumper stickers.
That afternoon, a man with the Common Cause poll observer group came out to harass us. I had just given a family of four our popular Redlands Tea Party Patriot voter guide. He grew agitated when I mentioned Prop 32, which prohibited unions from forcing members to contribute to political causes they detest. The man spewed some anti-Prop 32 propaganda and kept harassing us. He finally left after muttering something about Prop 13, the treasured law that keeps politicians from raising property taxes whenever they want.
The man made a point of taking our pictures as though it was some sort of intimidation tactic. So I took some of him while he took pictures of us. His van was festooned with "No on 32" stickers.
We had a few other intolerant liberal goons, but my favorite was a man, about 5:30 p.m., who threw a hissy fit while demanding that we leave.
I offered him a copy of California Elections Code 18370. His first words -- and I'm not making this up -- was, "Did this come off your printer?"
I was doing my best all day to avoid confrontations while standing up for our rights, so I blew off such a brainless question and thought, "No! It came off the Fox News printer."
Exasperated, he left in a huff and muttered.As he drove out of the poll, I smiled, waved, and yelled, "Thanks for voting!"
He flipped his middle finger and yelled the F-word.
Such class. Such tolerance.
Every movement has their nuts, and it's unfair to hold up a few and claim that their behavior represents the rest of the cause. But on Tuesday, intolerant liberal behavior was the norm for way too many liberals in Redlands. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Despite Tuesday's national catastrophe at the polls, we certainly had fun at one in Redlands. I took pictures, so I have proof -- as do a few liberals -- that, on Nov. 6, 2012, a few conservatives on Lugonia Avenue were fighting the good fight.
And the coming Obama second recession will prove that, on that day, we were also on the right side of history.