#TrueTheVote Day One: Facts, Anger and Divergent Images of Two Crusaders
April 27, 2012 - 8:00 pm
The Hollywood and media left love a crusader. Not in the Knights Templar sense, but in the striving to change the world sense. But they don’t love all crusaders equally. Case in point: Earlier today in a post about the EPA’s radical region chief I mentioned a crusader. Hollywood loves her and the media eats up her every word. She’s southern, she’s funny, she’s spirited, she’s beautiful. She has turned her stance on a set of issues into such a phenomenon that Hollywood even made an eponymous movie about her: Erin Brockovich.
But there’s another crusader out there who shares all of Brockovich’s external qualities. She saw a huge problem in America just a few years ago and, in a short span, has devoted her life to stopping it. Her local ad hoc group has become a national watchdog; representatives from 32 states are here at the summit in Houston this weekend. So she clearly knows how to lead and motivate. And the problem she is tackling is real. But Hollywood isn’t making a movie about her. If it did, Julia Roberts wouldn’t star in it. They would do to Catherine Engelbrecht of TrueTheVote what they recently did to Sarah Palin: The starring role goes to someone who publicly hates her, and the film is not the paean that Brockovich got, but would be a nasty hatchet job. For Catherine Engelbrecht, the Hollywood version of her work against voter fraud will have to wait. There’s an election on, and she is determined that it will be clean.
Catherine Engelbrecht at the True The Vote summit.
Keeping the 2012 and future elections clean is at the heart of True The Vote’s mission. That’s not a mission that Hollywood lovingly immortalizes, and it’s not a mission that the media mentions approvingly, but if Engelbrecht succeeds, it will immortalize the country one clean election at a time. So Engelbrecht has gathered together a few hundred in Houston this weekend to hear from experts and to study ways to identify and prevent voter fraud.
The first speaker was Anita MonCrief, the courageous young woman who blew the whistle on ACORN’s voter fraud and on the 2008 Obama campaign’s illicit donation practices. The media wasn’t interested in MonCrief’s story at the time, and still isn’t, despite the fact that ACORN sued her to try to silence her. Former Justice Department lawyer Hans von Spakovsky followed MonCrief, going point by point to prove that voter fraud exists, that it is a real threat to our democracy, and that we must stop it. Following von Spakovsky, former Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama delivered a passionate, brilliant and funny broadside against the notion that requiring a photo ID to cast a vote constitutes a “return to Jim Crow.” But the most vivid speech of the night came from Democratic pollster Pat Caddell.
John Fund and Rep. Artur Davis
Pat Caddell is not a young man. He got his start in politics at the age of 16 in the early years of the civil rights movement, and by age 21 had already witnessed a stolen election. In telling how that event alerted him to the threat that stolen elections pose to a country founded on the idea that citizens freely choose their own leaders, Caddell was by turns angry, defiant, and fearless. He spared neither political party, calling out both the “corrupt” and the “stupid” party (and he didn’t have to define either for anyone in the room to know exactly which was which). “A stolen election is a stain on America’s honor,” he said. Caddell blasted his own party for stealing elections, and called for Attorney General Eric Holder to be impeached. He ripped the rank hypocrisy of both parties. He hammered the political class for putting its own pockets and perks ahead of our country’s future. He blasted George Soros and the Think Progress crowd for using smears and innuendo to transform this country into something that it is not. Coming from anyone else Caddell’s fire might have had less power, but coming from a lifelong Democrat who worked for President Carter, it carried the night. He has been there, he has done that, and he knows what he is talking about.
The fearless Pat Caddell: “I don’t speak Democrat and I don’t speak Republican. I speak American.”
Contrary to the media’s portrayal of True The Vote, not all of the speakers were Republicans, and not all of them were white. Not all of them were male. Hollywood won’t include that in the film, either, if it ever gets made.