I have never attended a moveon.org meeting or received their literature – I have had enough conversations with their followers to know that it is not the place for me. This week, however, I received a call out from the South Florida Tea Party to attend a moveon.org meeting at a local library here in Delray Beach, Florida about healthcare reform so I packed up camera and notebook and headed out today to see for myself what is happening on that side of the issue. Pure lunacy would be harsh but it was – pure lunacy.
I was one of about 12 TEA Partiers that came to the meeting. There were approximately 60 people total at the meeting – most of them Senior Citizens. No signs were allowed in the library from either side. I was asked to sign in and sign their petition – I did but declined the petition. They identified me as a TEA Partier immediately (not sure what gave me away – the t-shirt or the Fair Tax hat) but while I was waiting one lady commented that she hoped things would be calm. *eye roll*
One lady asked me why I would not sign the petition and I said that I had experienced Socialism & Socialized Medicine after living in the UK and that I also work in healthcare. She said – oh, we should have asked you to speak and I sweetly offered to come to any of their meetings and speak. Another lady said she was from Holland and had “survived socialized medicine” and I replied that she was lucky and I am worried about the quality of survival here. I also asked them for a list of their speakers and was told that the list was not available for public distribution. OOOK. Big smiles – I thanked them and moved to take my seat. I was first TP there but I was soon joined by fellow Patriots and we all sat together in the back.
Before the speakers began, we were approached by one of the organizers who asked us to please be nice and not make any threats. V and I both assured her that we are Americans who like other Americans and we would not be threatening anyone. Good Grief! *eye roll*
SO the speakers began. The introduction set up their mantra: “MEDICARE FOR ALL” and took a couple of shots at Sen Bill Nelson (D) who has voted against healthcare reform. They have accused him via their only handout of taking $3.2 million from big insurance and health interest in his race for federal office. Their source for this info is a website called opensecrets.org.
I took copious notes and I would like to share some of my WTF moments of the day.
The first speaker was billed as a local small business owner – what she did not say was she was the one that was from Holland – so they opened with a Socialist. She did discuss healthcare savings accounts but she lost me when she complained that there are “no laws requiring everyone to have healthcare” and that the government should not only make that law but they should also be providing the healthcare as well and that noone should have to contribute more than the first $3000 of healthcare. Confusing and she is a Socialist but I was feeling a bit better that I could cope at this point.
The second speaker was just a nutter. She was introduced as a Mental Health Practitioner and yup – that explained it. Not just politically kooky but she was so enamored with herself and her stories – she led us down a winding road about how she helped two poor girls years ago through the Jewish Family Service and one found her on Facebook and could we imagine helping everyone with healthcare “even people with tattoos of skulls and crossbones and don’t tread on me”. She closed with this nugget: “Everyone should be blessed with Medicare.” So – I am still breathing steadily – we were whispering a bit here and there amongst ourselves but I was still feeling ok. Unfortunately, things went a bit down hill from this point.
Our third speaker was a local Professor of Bilingual Studies. Her lines were pretty standard Socialist borderline Communist Kumbaya the USA sucks and we all need big government to take care of us nonsense. Then she began quoting studies about life expectancies and how we were all in danger as she shrilly announced that the “USA ranks 45th in the world in life expectancy below even Jordan” and that our quality of medical care is only going to be improved by government intervention. Her final nugget of Communist wisdom: “Yes! We DO want government bureaucrats making our healthcare decisions!”. OK – our whispers were getting a bit more fierce and a few snickers snuck out – just a few but I guess we had to make allowances for her condition – Marxist and all that.
The fourth speaker took the cake. I had a brief flash of hijacking the microphone and making an impassioned speech until the police carted me off in handcuffs. But that would be bad. So – the fourth speaker was a Haitian speaker who was very difficult to understand but clearly stated that he has been brought in by the SEIU from New Jersey. “THAT’s ACORN – the SEIU IS ACORN” burst from my lips. I couldn’t help it. SEIU/ACORN man kept going. I could go on & on but he regaled us with a tale of a house he went to that had a lady who was so sick with a pain in her stomach for five years. This lady was a Haitian immigrant as well who had no access to healthcare here in the United States. So he suggested she go to Cuba. But she could not go to Cuba. So he suggested she go to Canada. But she could not go to Canada. So he suggested she go to Haiti. She said she would go to Haiti but she was afraid that during the operation the hospital would lose power and she would die. So here this woman is in the United States, very ill, with a pain in her stomach and she cannot get healthcare. He paused – for sympathetic effect (although due to his accent, I doubt 80% of the audience could even understand him) and then said that he believes in union health insurance and that even 80/20 coverage would not help anyone. Direct quote: “ The American workforce is sick & have no access to healthcare”. Jaw dropping. Really. This is ACORN folks – they are frigging scary.
Speaker #5 was a local Dermatologist. He was calm and reasonable – said that we have the best quality healthcare in the world but the problem is accessibility and his answer is….MEDICARE FOR ALL! and why? Because Medicare runs on a 3% overhead versus a 30% overhead like the private insurance companies so it will save us tons of money in the end. He even acknowledged that MassCare in the great liberal state of Massachusetts was a “complete failure” and said that Medicare will save us all. My palms are itching a bit at this point to smack someone. No threats – just a nice resounding SMACK.
Speaker #6 trots out and here it comes – the Politician! Mark Alan Siegel – Chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party! WOOHOO! Gladhands all around! And he announces that he is going to reveal to us the objectives of our President and the Democratic Party! And here they are: they want to get us as close to UNIVERSAL healthcare as they can! They will bring down the cost of caring for the people of this country! We all know private insurance is just an “ineffective bureaucracy” that requires us to do nothing but fill out pages and pages of paper! (IRS or private insurance I wondered) Then he babbled about the “spiritual component” of the medical profession and how committed they are to taking care of ALL OF US! They will incorporate best practices and cost savings and give us EVERYTHING! And no one believed that they could legislate tolerance but they DID! And NOW they are going to legislate a “CULTURE CHANGE and adjust the culture in this country”! They are committed to “reducing the cost for caring for each and every individual in this country”! AND…AND…if we do not do this……”there will be bankruptcy of the state and federal government.”
By this point, we were getting a few dirty looks as the whispers and snickers got a bit louder and Miss B burst out with a few IDIOT comments. But we were trying – really really trying. I could not believe that these are the lines that 50% of our country actually buys!
The next speaker jumped up and read a prepared statement from Congressman Alcee Hastings – it sounded like blah blah blah blah because I was still reeling a bit. This gentleman had also given everyone a handout earlier “compliments of Congressman Hastings” that was about free and low-cost info from….Pueblo, Colorado. EH? no idea. His t-shirt said he was outraged but apparently, he was confused as well.
Now this next speaker was my personal favorite. He got so nutty that the organizers started looking uncomfortable and even approached him to try and get him to stop talking. He was introduced as a physician and Neurologist. The doctor opened by saying that drug research and medical imaging are not curing anything. He then went on to explain that even with all of our supposed advances in healthcare, a stroke patient who has a bleed in their brain is still treated the same as in the 70’s and that the expensive surgery that is done today is pointless. He said that there should not be any scientific experimentation because his medical opinion is that it will not go anywhere – it is all just useless and high cost. AND THEN IT HIT ME – OMG – they brought this whacko in to prep these poor old people to not expect life-saving healthcare – OMG OMG. I almost jumped out of the seat again. He apparently had a real…issue with Medical Imaging and denounced that one of our cities had more MRI machines than some countries. We should be ashamed – and what happens to old MRI equipment he asks??? NOTHING. We need to create jobs to fix it and send it to poor countries that do not have them. SEE! he says that would be job creation – fix old broken MRI machines and send them to other countries. This got him warmed up to his real agenda: “We need to create an ARMY!” he said. “an army of healthcare providers who will go out and provide healthcare to the WHOLE WORLD! WE must fund this army and send them out to give good healthcare to everyone in the world! and bring our old MRI machines!” this was when the organizer began approaching him to swipe the microphone.
We then were regaled with a letter from Congressman Wexler – who, by the way, does not even live in his district here. He lives in Maryland. Congressman Wexler who had the police meet constituents at his office a few weeks ago when they called and asked if they could come and air some of their concerns. Not TEA Party folks either – this was a church group. They were met at the door by a police officer and told them that they were not welcome there. AT THEIR CONGRESSMAN’s office. yup.
At this point, I had it. I had to get out or get loud. I was going to be rude and that would not do anything other than confirm to them that we are indeed unruly and extreme…which I am but I have manners! plus, this was their party so they were not under obligation to give us any time. And they were starting to say that they were out of time so I knew that I would not have an opportunity for a comment.
We all met in the parking lot. Our little TEA Party group and we had a blast chatting and exclaiming. We ranged in age from late 20’s to 90’s (actually toddlers if you count the munchkins) – there were 12 of us total I think. And we exchanged info and laughed and I thought…this is IT. This was what it is about. Laughing and exchanging information and not sitting and having some lunatics hand out brainwashed ideas. A gentleman came up and started talking and then went and got his Mom – said she had to meet all of us. She was from Israel and had been saying from day one that Obama was a Muslim and he thought she was just talking but now he has grave concerns and maybe Mom wasn’t so far off. He wants to come to a TEA party now!
The moment of the day for me? The elderly lady (I guesstimate late 80’s to 90’s) said to me – They are going to put us in the concentration camps again. I was horrified and I said No – they won’t. She said – They will – what can you do? and I said – I will fight to the death and I will not let them put you or anyone else in a concentration camp.
No drama, people. I mean it. THEY CANNOT HAVE OUR COUNTRY.
Tomorrow – we are having a TEA Party at the mall – I will be out there with my camera and my sign and my compatriots – Real Patriots.
that is Miss V attempting to discuss the issues with the SEIU/ACORN rep – HA…good luck! 🙂