August 20, 2009

My run in with some Teabaggers

Apparently, no one is "entitled" to any health care.

I posted the other day that these people are not our enemies and that we just need to get louder and maybe get punched at one of these town hall meetings. Well, I didn't get punched, but outside the town hall meeting in Baytown with Gene Green, I'm sure some members of the San Jacinto Tea Party were ready to punch me if I got too out of hand.

When the man with the bull horn actually said that there was socialized medicine in the House bill, I went off. First I yelled, "No it's not!" and a couple in front of me turned around and basically dared me to go up there, thinking I would shut up. But I walked up closer to the mob, closer to the man with the bull horn and kept yelling, "There is no socialized health care in the bill!" The closer I got, the louder I got, and the braver I got. I must admit, regardless of who was right or wrong, it felt good to yell at this mob.

Earlier these people had been chastising Rep. Gene Green about restricting the attendance to this meeting. There were two restrictions: room space, and actually being from Green's district (TX 29th). The really funny thing was that this group of teabaggers wasn't even standing in the line of people waiting to get in, and it grew to be several hundred people long, while the meeting room at Sterling Municipal Library only held about 100 to 150. In any case, they put on the show that they had been specifically shunned from this meeting, as they ralleyed outside.

They pretended to open up the discussion to any and everyone, saying "Come on up to the bull horn and speak your mind [...] Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter." Or something to that effect. Well I was up there, I had something to say, I was yelling it, I was able to get everyone's attention for a few seconds without the bull horn, but I was only met with jeers from the mob and some comments from the bull horn man which I could only make out as, "If you wanna disrupt our gathering..."

The irony doesn't stop there. Many of these people appeared to be of retirement age or getting near it, people destined to be on Medicare. They were all railing away about government insurance as if they weren't, or knew no one, who benefitted from Medicare or Medicaid.

After speaking privately with a few of them who engaged me in some civil discussion, it all seemed to be coming back to the freeloaders who were already leaching off of the system. I was told of people in gold jewelry and Escalades lining up to get their Food Stamps. I was told that these people didn't know how to save money, I was told one man's personal story of working as a young man, supporting his family, not leaving the house "If I couldn't afford to make a phone call or put gas in my care." These people were well meaning, but never considered what it might be like to be a black or Latino person in America. I tried to tell them that some people can't just save money like that anymore, and that the job market is getting worse and worse anyhow; some people just can't afford insurance on their own. But to no avail. I needed to read more on the issues, I needed to support moderate politicians. I was young, ignorant, foolish, and idealistic.

One thing I forgot to say to everyone was, "Don't believe every chain email you receive."

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