Nearly 40 people showed up to encourage people to get more involved with their government at the local level at the Grant County Fairgrounds Thursday

The goal of the Arise USA tour, organizer Robert David Steele said, is to unite 99% of the country against the 1% in government, who he said no longer represent the people.

Steele, a former spy with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, said the group got on the road May 7 and would be at Mt. Rushmore for Independence Day with events planned throughout the country through at least August.

The group’s grievances ranged from COVID-19 restrictions to alleged election fraud to satanic pedophilia and critical race theory.

Emceed by radio host Trent Loos from Nebraska, featured speakers included Kevin Jenkins, the Urban Global Health Alliance founder, and local speaker Dave Traylor.

Traylor, who spoke first, talked about local issues. He said the county has gone from doing active forestry work and stewardship of the forest to now doing “very little of it.” Traylor said devastating fires have “eaten up” a significant portion of the county.

“Now we look at fire as fire season,” he said. “Unfortunately, fire has become big business. And big business requires big fires. This is happening all through the West.”

In his speech, Steele said that former Donald Trump legal team member Sidney Powell is facing a million-dollar defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine company at the center of conspiracy theories related to the election.

“We want fair and honest elections,” he said. “Electronic voting machines were created in order to designate the winner before the first vote is cast. And I absolutely guarantee you that my friend Sidney Powell is going to kick Dominion’s ass.”

He said, if he were the CEO of Dominion, he would be in Switzerland getting a facelift and skin color and moving to Thailand, “where they love pedophiles.”

In an interview after his speech, Steele said that he was “confounded” that judges appointed by Trump dismissed election fraud cases, citing no evidence of any fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election.

He said what puzzled him was that all nine Supreme Court justices refused to hear a case that 20 states brought.

He said the only “speculative” conclusion that he could come to was that the time was not right, and they did not want to do the court cases.

Steele said he believes the justices wanted to do more forensics and surveillance work with the National Surveillance Agency and make the deal outside of the legal system.

“The federal court system is not where you’re going to solve this problem,” he said.

Steele also blames the U.S. government for the 9/11 terrorist attacks despite contrary conclusions reached by the 9/11 Commission, which released its findings in 2004. He said Israel was behind the attack while former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were “inside guys.”

Steele also “absolutely” believes that high-ranking Democratic Party officials were running a human trafficking and child sex ring out of a pizza parlor.

The widely debunked conspiracy theory, dubbed “Pizzagate,” is considered a predecessor to the QAnon conspiracy theory and alleged that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles ran a global child sex trafficking ring and conspired against former president Donald Trump during his term in office.

Uniting the populist left and the populist right

Steele said the purpose of the tour is to unite Trump supporters with Bernie Sanders supporters.

He said Sanders “rolled over and played dead” for Hillary Clinton twice.

Steele said a populist believes that citizens give the government rights, not the other way around. The left and the right, Steele said, need to set aside their differences.

He said the Democrats control 17% of the voters, while the Republicans control 13% of the voters. Steele said those are the people that go through the motions of voting.

He said 20% of the voters are Independents and Libertarians whose votes don’t count. He said he used to be a Republican and then he became a Libertarian but said the Libertarian Party is not interested in winning elections.

“The Libertarian Party leadership today is interested in keeping its fat paychecks as national level leaders,” he said.

He said 50% of voters have dropped out of the system completely and are not participating. There are many reasons, Steele said, as to why they’re not voting.

“Either they’re being scared away — a lot of black people being scared away — or they’re being intimidated away,” Steele said.

He said half of all Democratic and Republican precinct seats are vacant.

“In my own personal view, I will tell you this tour is about destroying the Republican and Democratic parties and putting people, not parties, back in charge,” he said.

Constitutional counties

He said constitutional counties are a way to get people to realize they can take back the power.

A constitutional county, Steele said, will not allow the federal, state or local governments to pass and enforce an unconstitutional law.

“Which means that if someone is telling you that kids have to wear masks in a lockdown, and there’s no science and no law behind it, that’s an unconstitutional act,” Steele said. “Which means that if you are in California, and they’re telling your kids that they have to roll around on the floor with drag queens and be taught that they have the option of asking for a sex change operation before they’ve reached maturity, which generally is between 28 and 33, that’s unconstitutional.”

Critical race theory, COVID-19 vaccine and the culture wars

Jenkins, who closed out the show, railed about various culture war flashpoints, including critical race theory and the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said people are in a “war” for their “very soul.”

Jenkins said he walked into a restaurant in Florida that had vaccinated and unvaccinated sections.

“I said, ‘Excuse me, I’m black, where do I sit,’” he said. “I’ve been fighting for 100 some odd years in this country, to feel free to walk in some place and not be victimized because of my color like you should not be victimized because of where you live, and what you think about God and country, and family and community.”

Jenkins said people are being divided by race. He asked the crowd what critical race theory was. He said that there is “maximum sophisticated confusion” going and that a group of people are organizing themselves to “rewrite” the narrative of humanity.

“It is the most ridiculous thing ever,” he said, “but we’ve allowed it to happen.”

According to Brittanica online, critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old, which posits that racism is a social construct and the product of individual bias or prejudice and something embedded in legal systems and policies. The basic tenets of critical race theory emerged from a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw and Richard Delgado.

Marc Seigel, communications director with the Oregon Department of Education, said the state develops academic standards, not the curriculum, and critical race theory is not mandated in any standards. He said local school boards adopt curriculum to meet state standards.

Bret Uptmor, Grant School District superintendent, said unless ODE defines critical race theory and creates standards around it, they will not teach it.



Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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