Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rallying for Free Market Healthcare in Boca Raton

In spite of the typical South Florida summer downpour, a devoted group of approximately 40 patriots gathered outside Congressman Robert Wexler's office, located in the Crystal Corporate Center on Military Trail in Boca Raton. Elaine Laffey, my fellow Smart Girl Politics activist and Facebook buddy, did an excellent job coordinating today's event. I should point out, I was a bit surprised to discover the Congressman's office was located in such an upscale building -- you know -- the kind that houses all of those eeeevil corporations the Democrats are always harping about.

When we arrived at 3 p.m., there were a scant few people milling about the parking lot, but within minutes, the size of our group nearly quadrupled. As we were preparing to go onto the sidewalk, we noticed a group of socialized medicine/Wexler supporters, all of whom appeared to be senior citizens. When Elaine approached them to say hello and introduce herself, the greeting one gentlemen offered in response summed up the difference between the left and the right better than any conservative ever could: "Why are you talking to us? We're the enemy!" he exclaimed in a caustic tone. To which Elaine promptly rebutted, "You're not my enemy, sir. We just have a fundamental disagreement on this issue."

With that, most of us quietly moved away from them to take our assigned places on the sidewalk, but my friend and die-hard patriot Ellen Snyder stuck around for a while to argue; as expected, her valid points fell on deaf ears. And during the emotionally charged exchange one guy actually wagged his finger in her face, obnoxiously claiming he was supporting Obamacare "for your child," and erroneously assuming that Ellen, who has worked in the medical industry her entire career, had no idea what she was talking about. Gotta love these tolerant liberals!

Anyway, I suppose Wexler does indeed fancy himself an untouchable CEO, because Elaine and I encountered much resistance when we peacefully approached the building, intent on paying his staff (Wexler, we were later told, was in Israel) a friendly visit so that they could inform their boss of our strong opposition to nationalized healthcare. First, we were stopped by a local cop, a very nice gentleman who gave us his blessing once we explained our purpose (he wanted to make sure we weren't bringing any signs with us, which would have been a violation). However, the arrogant building security team was another matter entirely. Three different guards stopped us rather rudely as we made our way to the lobby; undeterred, we kept going, reminding them that Congressman Wexler is a public servant, and thus accountable to his constituents.

By the time we got to the third one, she was poised and ready with a walkie-talkie, presumably to warn Wexler's staff that two right wing extremists were on their way. In a tone of sheer condescension, she announced, "That is a private office!" Undaunted we replied, "Congressman Wexler works for us, and we have every right to stop by and let him know how we feel about this issue," before stepping into the glass elevator.

As we ascended to the fourth floor (Suite 490 to be exact), we watched as the guard then whipped out her walkie talkie and presumably issued an urgent warning to Wexler's staff. Once inside, we were greeted politely (if somewhat stiffly) but as directed, wrote out our grievances on the forms provided. Interestingly enough these forms, which featured the seal of the US Congress at the top, requested a social security number in a line at the bottom, along with the typical information (name, address, etc). Neither of us filled it in.

Back outside, I asked Ellen to contact talk radio host Joyce Kaufman (who was currently broadcasting live), and apprise her of what had just transpired. Although there were several other callers in queue, Ellen's call was bumped to the front of the line. Once informed, an angry Joyce publicized the incident on the airwaves; by the time Ellen and other protestors paid a visit to the Congressman's office, the phones were ringing off the hook, with solicitious staffers assuring irate callers that of course their office was open to the public! Power to the people, baby.
One other observation: Military Trail is a heavily trafficked street, and this particular intersection is extremely busy. Our friends from the other side stood at an opposite corner, holding up signs in support of Wexler and Obamacare. But as far as I could tell, we were the only ones who received numerous honks of approval, most notably from every trucker who happened to drive by. We even got media coverage from the Sun-Sentinel and the local ABC affiliate (Patrick Laffey, Elaine's husband, also took video of several of us, including yours truly). I honestly believe most people are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. And that's a very good thing for America.

Thank you to every patriot who stood out in the rain with us today! Special mention to the 9/12-ers, especially Shannon and Doug and their family; congressional candidate for Congress and Wexler challenger Ed Lynch; the Smart Girl Politics team and once again, to Patrick and Elaine Laffey. This weekend: TEA PARTIES!

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