A Tribute to a Conservative Activist Pioneer, Doctor Raoul
Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Tribute to a Conservative Activist Pioneer, Doctor Raoul
A legend passed away last weekend. A legend from a long ago era—at least as time is measured in the Internet Age. As such, most of you reading this have never known of him, but you should.
Doctor Raoul’s message for the wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
His admirers included the likes of conservative luminaries Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, John Fund, David Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin. His work was appreciated by numerous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. He bedeviled Bill and Hillary Clinton and was sworn at by liberal reporters and politicians for speaking the plain truth to them. Patriotic Americans who witnessed him in action all across the country loved and were inspired by him. He brought a gut-busting sense of humor and theatrics to protesting that made even stone-faced Secret Service officers double-over in laughter at their White House post.
While he had no use for mainstream media reporters, he was always quietly helping out conservative-leaning reporters, news sites and talk radio hosts with tips and story ideas.
Read the rest below the fold.
His name was Doctor Raoul, aka Raoul Deming. That was his nom de FReep, his real name was a secret, like any superhero. He jokingly told the press he was from the Takoma Park, Maryland Demings (the joke being that is the most liberal town on the East Coast), but he was actually a Jersey boy—with a touch of the City of Brotherly Love.
Raoul spent the better part of ten years, from 1998 to 2008 battling liberals , communists, fascists, radical feminists, gun-grabbers, racists and jihadists in the streets, on the airwaves and online. He gave of himself to countless others his time, effort, creativity, support, rides, food, gifts and inspiration. He also was a volunteer crew member for the US Flag hot air balloon. All while raising a family with his wife and keeping a full-time job.
Most of us met Raoul through FreeRepublic.com. Back in the day, Free Republic was pioneering Internet activism—bringing together thousands of conservatives who had never protested in the common cause of saving the country by driving the Clinton-Gore regime from power.
Raoul was a novice in 1998, as most of us were. Most of us were a bit scared, too. People who stood up to the Clintons ended up with the law, private investigators or worse sicced on them. Some members of Free Republic, (we became known as FReepers) were stalked and harassed at work and at their homes. Raoul’s secret identity wasn’t a game. It was protection.
But that was the only nod to safety Raoul made. Over the years he literally stood toe to toe with bullying politicians and reporters, stared eyeball to eyeball with President Bill Clinton and held his ground sign to sign with liberal barking moonbat protesters. He bested them all with his quick wit, encyclopedic knowledge and determined patriotism.
Raoul became a regular at the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic’s Saturday protests at the Clinton White House. Every Saturday from September 1998 to January 2001 we gathered in front of the White House for three to four hours at a time. We educated the tourists, challenged reporters and brought a morale boost to a beleaguered Secret Service downhearted from having to protect what they knew to be a treasonous, criminal regime.
We reported our activities on Free Republic, along with photographs documenting our protests. The reports heartened conservatives across the country, who looked forward to reading them as soon as they were posted.
Long before YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, conservatives ruled online activism. Life and declining morale caused a pause in conservative activism just as those forms of social media became dominant. The Tea Party movement arose at a point in time many online activist pioneers like Raoul had to step away to tend to their lives and families.
Raoul was an engineer by trade. Being an engineer meant Raoul was committed to upholding the truth. Facts mattered. Lies and shortcuts could wreck a project—or ruin a nation.
Raoul also applied his engineering to sign making. He developed a system of lightweight permanent frames, insertable handles and interchangeable message-bearing sleeve covers that could be carried in a bag in a car trunk. Any of us so equipped by Raoul could stage an instant protest by ourselves or supply others who joined in with signs on any Clinton scandal of the time: Chinagate, impeachment, Juanita Broaddrick’s rape accusation against Clinton, Elian Gonzalez, the FALN terrorists pardons and on and on.
Raoul would shoot down smug, foul-mouthed (or foul-fingered), nasty liberals who tried to insult our group of anti-Clinton protesters with a sing-song chant of “Mean spirited, arrogant, condescending liberal!” The chant invariably caused them to slink away as others in front of the White House would turn their attention to the ill-mannered lout.
During that time Raoul also came up with what became known as the Cops’ Cheer. One Saturday he stood in front of the White House at the gate where the tourists exited. He cupped his hands to his mouth and made like he was talking like a police officer from a 1930s gangster film—dragging out the phrases for maximum effect:
“Bill Clintonnnn……we have you surrounded……Drop the cigar……step away from the intern….and come out……with your pants UP!”
The Secret Service officers at the gate tried to stifle their laughter as Raoul’s booming voice echoed off the North Portico of the White House. By the time he hit the last line they were doubled over in laughter and had to stagger back inside the gate to compose themselves.
President Clinton got to hear the Cops Cheer many times over the years. It never failed to provoke roaring belly-laughs from those within earshot.
Other times Raoul could be quite serious. One evening Clinton was holding a fundraiser at the Hay-Adams Hotel which is located a block from the White House. Raoul and I staged a two-man protest across the street from the hotel on the north side of Lafayette Park. When Clinton exited the hotel, he left thought the front door and walked the few feet to the presidential limousine. Raoul and I started chanting, “Traitor! Rapist! Traitor! Rapist!” (a reference to Chinagate and Juanita Broaddrick) over and over. Security protocol is for the president to make a beeline for the limo, get in and be driven right away. Not this time.
Clinton stopped getting in the limo, stood leaning on the door and glowered at us from about twenty yards away. We kept calling him “Traitor! Rapist!” to his face as he continued to just stand there, his face turning red as he continued to glower at us. Finally he got in the limo. The motorcade made a u-turn from the hotel and came near us as it turned east on H St. to return to the White House. We could see Clinton turned around in the back seat staring at us through the rear window like an angry kid.
After 9/11, when Clinton was running around trying to tell anyone who would listen he really tried to get Osama bin Laden (in between dates with Monica Lewinsky and assaults on female White House staffers), Raoul created a brash sign that delivered a devastating rebuttal:
IF OSAMA WAS A PIECE OF ASS, CLINTON WOULD HAVE NAILED HIM, New York City, February 2002.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the anti-American left mobilized to attack morale on the home front like they did during Vietnam. As a group, Raoul and the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic vowed to not let the left, the media and the Democrats do to this generation of American soldiers as they did to the Vietnam veterans.
Raoul worked tirelessly to confront and expose the leftists, their jihadist partners and their allies in Congress. With humor and with facts, and his ever-present bullhorn, Raoul attended countless counter-demonstrations opposing the so-called antiwar movement. He educated himself about the leadership of the main groups, their past political activities, their goals and alliances.
Raoul traveled numerous times to Washington, D.C., New York, Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Benning, GA, Johnstown, PA, Crawford, TX and many other towns to stand up for our troops and nation. He bought a portable podium and small sound system that he would lend to anyone who needed them for their troop support rallies.
I could go on forever telling Doctor Raoul stories. The actions of Raoul inspired so many. His steadfast patriotism, his dedication to holding politicians and the media accountable, his support for our troops and their families, his devoted friendship and his kindness to strangers has brought forth an outpouring of love from those who knew him.
His legacy lives on in conservative activists on Free Republic and in the Tea Party movement.
As someone said of Doctor Raoul on his passing, “Doc was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool.”