Although grass-roots activists were denied their seat at the staged "Town Hall" hosted by Congressmen Robert Wexler and Alcee Hastings at the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach today, hundreds of us stood in the hot sun to voice our opposition to Obamacare and fight for freedom amid the MoveOn/SEIU crowd.
I arrived with my brother Ralph who is visiting from Pennsylvania, and my good friend Elaine Laffey at approximately 10:30 a.m. At that time, things were just getting underway, with free market warriors setting up camp with handmade signs, American flags and other items like bumper stickers and buttons. Several police officers were on-hand, as well as the usual obnoxious Kool-Aid imbibers, who initially attempted to usurp our spot along the sidewalk. At first, the police tried to make us move to the far end of the venue, but several of the patriots who'd already set up tables stood their ground. Eventually, the police relented and the Obama group was told to stick to their portion of the sidewalk.
In the distance, a high school marching band played under the pavilion, their music nearly drowning out everything else, while cheerleaders wearing Obama tee-shirts danced gleefully. I'd later discover that these students were from Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, bused in for the occasion. They attempted to quiet the opposition with their music, but Tea Party patriots joined in the dance, waving their pro-American, pro-freedom, pro-capitalism signs in defiance.
Within an hour of our arrival, the patriot resistence began to outnumber the Obama-bots, although they certainly made up for the deficit by screaming the usual platitudes, and of course, chanting their Dear Leader's name. No matter how many times I watch that spectacle unfold at these events, I am always shocked by the blind allegiance and -- frankly -- ignorance of these people. Not one of them could state what was in the bill, nor do they understand the mechanisms of the free market.
Mention the dire need for tort reform, interstate competition for insurance companies and tax credits for small business owners, and their eyes glaze over. These people truly believe the government -- the same government that brought us Cash for Clunkers, Fannie and Freddie, Medicare, the DMV and the US Post Office -- is the solution to all their problems. And therein lies the crux of the matter: too many people refuse to take personal responsibility for their own lives, preferring to subjugate themselves and the rest of us to a perceived benevolent bureacracy that is utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling efficiency or morality.
Among the sickening chants of "Yes we will!" the patriots shouted back "Kill the Bill!", "We will, we will stop you Obamcare!" and "Free market healthcare!" led by Everett Wilkinson on the megaphone, who at one point was punched in the arm by a crazy blonde Obama-bot. Undeterred, we wandered back and forth on the lawn, and rallied under the pavilion, sending a clear message to the opposition that we were not intimidated by their presence, nor cowed by the staged shenanigans taking place indoors. I think they were somewhat shocked by the sheer number of us unpaid activists, joined by local talk radio host Joyce Kaufman, who did a live broadcast from the venue.
One of those unpaid folks was a woman named Jeanne Kennedy of Deerfield Beach, who took a vacation day from her job at a Fort Lauderdale CPA firm to attend today's rally. She'd sent an email to Wexler expressing her opposition to Obamacare, but never received a response. After her husband called to inquire about the date and location of the Town Hall, she decided to participate. "I want to know the truth; I want my questions answered," Kennedy told me. "Big government means big problems. There are so many people lying and stealing; so much fraud. You can't name one government program that's effective."
Corinne Giusti, an ER doctor, concurred. "I live in Wexler's district and I completely disagree with this bill. According to the President we (doctors) make more money by chopping off people's legs. I resent the demonization of the medical profession." Giunti also told me that one of her co-workers who voted for Obama now admits it was the worst mistake of her life.
Then I bumped into Richard from England, who enjoys dual citizenship since "I had the good fortune to marry an American." When I asked for his perspective on socialized medicine, he soberly stated, " I grew up with an intimate understanding of national health service. It doesn't work, it's unaffordable and it's unfair. I have an 81 year-old mother and I am very concerned about her. It would be an absolute tragedy to bring this awful system to the US."
Roy Deng of Delray Beach added, "This is bad legislation. It's rationed care, a change that fundamentally shifts our healthcare from private to public." To support his statement he read me a direct quote from a doctor who went to D.C.: "The national healthcare board will approve or reject treatment for patients based on the cost per treatment divided by the number of years the patient will benefit from the treatment." Sure sounds Draconian to me.
And let's not forget the special needs community, and those with chronic health conditions. I was thrilled to bump into a young woman of 20, Cristy Tulko of Lake Worth who -- unlike most kids her age -- was clearly not an Obama supporter, but a believer in the free market. Together with her mother Mary Tulko, she'd come out to take a stand against the bill. When I asked Cristy why she opposed Obamacare, she explained that she has a serious condition called papillomatosis, in which polyps form on her vocal chords. She requires frequent check-ups to prevent swelling and God forbid, suffocation. As her mother explained, "She's had 150 surgeries over the years and is fine because of constant follow-ups with her doctor. If left unchecked, her condition could potentially kill her. I am very concerned that Cristy would be denied the proper care if this legislation passes."
One final observation: congressional candidate and Robert Wexler challenger Ed Lynch held his own Town Hall outside on the lawn, where he outlined some of the bill's horrendous provisions; stated his support for all of the free-market solutions to bring down the cost of health insurance; and actually took questions from the crowd. And unlike Wexler, Ed even fielded comments and questions from people who support nationalized medicine. If you live in South Florida, support Ed Lynch for Congress!
Finally, I am continually amazed by the dedication of my fellow patriots who rise to every occasion and fight the good fight with passion, intelligence and genuine love of country. Thank you for all you do!
For more photos, click here.