Update: Welcome Instapundit Readers!
In Raleigh, NC this morning, HCAN held a pro-Obamacare rally at the state capital. I was among a relatively small but vocal group of counterprotestors stationed across the street. At our peak, we numbered about 70, and most of us stayed through the entire event.
The pro-healthcare crowd was several hundred strong, and for good reason – they arrived in at least three and possibly 4 full-sized tour buses (see pics below). One of the buses came in from Wilmington, which is a couple of hours away, and while I have no idea where the others came from, they sure as hell weren’t from around here.
Two of the buses were parked right around the corner and down the block, so it was no big feat of detective work to follow the o-bots back to them at the rally’s end. The other two (that I saw) were parked in a lot another couple of blocks back, but I lost track of them after they pulled out so can’t say for certain if they were both O-bot vehicles. No matter though,two buses, four buses, whatever…. it’s just further proof that these pro-Obamacare organizers fear what their rallies would look like if they didn’t bring their own crowd.
Their rally was predictable – a few speakers whose job it was to play the emotional angle, a couple more telling the crowd why they deserved free healthcare, and the requisite incindiary black preacher-type who I was told but unable to confrm was president of the Durham NAACP chapter. This man in particular drew loud boos from our side of the street when he invoked the name of God in his insistence on free insurance on the backs of taxpayers. Real fire-and-brimstone crap from this guy, sort of like Rev. Wright without the overt racism.
Oh, and there were many, many identical pre-printed signs.
What struck me about the pro-obamacare crowd was how completely willing they were to disregard the consequences and realities of taxpayer-funded government-run healthcare. It was all about what they were entitled to, what they deserved, how the billionaire insurance companies were allowing them to die in the streets, etc, etc…a real mix of fantasy-land sensationalism and pie-in-the-sky nonsense. It really leads one to wonder – and I say this with absoutely no malice – just how tenouous a grasp on reality the bulk of these people have.
One in particular caught my attention (sorry, no pic) – this one guy spent a large portion of the rally facing and waving a dollar bill at us from across the street. Try as I may, I was totally unable to figure out what his point was. If the cops weren’t doing such a good job of keeping our two sides separated, I might have gone over to him and pointed out that the people looking for a handout were behind him, not in front of him.
Our people were awesome, of course. The signs were good and the passion strong. If I have one concern, it’s that we need to get better organized. This sentiment was shared by several other people I spoke with, and the general feeling was – based on turnout at past events – that if the communication had been better, we could have turned out significantly more people. This is something I am going straight to work on tonight.
A couple of personal notes: On the way back and forth between bus parking areas to get pictures of the O-bots ‘grassroots’ transportation after the rally’s end, I had a couple of interactions with some of the pro-reform people. The first one, an older black woman, was having trouble holding on to her armload of pro-obamacare signs on her way back to her car, dropping one in the process. As I passed, she asked if I could help her out and I did. She dropped another, and I got that one for her as well. Just two human beings who had both just minutes before been screaming at each other from different sides of the street, now pleasantly and peacefully interacting with each other. I was struck by the sheer normalcy of the moment. Yes, I left it alone.
A few minutes later, a small group of obamacare people walked past me in the opposite direction when one of the women, carrying a pro-reform sigh, said to me “can I get a thumbs-up?” I said “nope”, and kept on walking. After a few more paces though, I turned around and called over to her. When she turned around, I told her that I didn’t mean to be rude, and that however this healthcare disaster shakes that it will need to work for everyone. She said “me too, so how about a thumbs-up”, but I responded “not as long as you’re still carrying that sign”, and we went on our respective ways.
If there’s an aspect to this whole thing that I am having trouble dealing with, it’s how this administration’s far-left policies and aspirations have normal Americans choosing sides and at each others throats. At one crosswalk, it was me and about a half-dozen obamacare people and it was just….I dunno….weird. I don’t like having to size up my fellow citizens as friend or foe, but I guess that’s just where we’re at right now in Obama’s Amerika. I long for the day when the aforementioned ‘normalcy’ returns to our society, but I also know that those days may well be behind us.
No matter how troubling I find our current situation or how it weighs on me personally though, I will continue to fight for and defend what I know to be right, because it’s about so much more than just me. It’s about a future for my wife, my kids, my friends, family, city, state and country. It’s about joining with my fellow patriots to stomp out the flames of tyranny before they become a bonfire. It’s about restoring greatness to a nation being brought to its knees by an element -Â fronted by a smooth-talking con man – whose goal is to take over industry, destroy capitalism and the free market, and to take from those who produce and contribute to give to those who do neither.
Next weekend I’ll be installing a new timing belt, water pump, crank and cam seals and valve cover gasket on my ancient Corolla in preparation for the trip to DC on September 12. A strong showing here can not only help killÂ HR3200 (and HR676) once and for all, but put congress and the white house on notice that we will not be disregarded any more. Lest we forget, amnesty is next.