Sunday, September 13, 2009
Ladies and Gents: I didn't overdress did I? I was a little worried about that.
The last picture was just to show everyone how clean we left the Capitol grounds. We folded up our signs and put them in garbage bags. People actually brought garbage bags with them. Another reason to be very proud; we treated those grounds with respect.
I want to tell you a litte about who I met over the weekend.
I met some great people, and I have a new hero or two.
I met people from all over the country. Here is a taste:
I ate my picnic lunch with a really nice couple from New Jersey. She is a teacher and he works for the railroad. Both happy union members. Registered independents who have never been to a protest in thier lives. They got up at 4 am to hop on a chartered bus and turned around at 5:30 and went back home. An 18 hour day at least.
I met a retired minister from DC. He is black man who voted for the President. I asked him if his vote had anything to do with pride. He told me no; it was about the war. He was upset with President Bush and felt that McCain would have continued the same policy. I asked what changed his mind. He told me he was still upset about the war and the President not ending it; and he was furious with the President on life issues. He always carries his bible in his pocket. His shirt was a quote from scripture about reaping what you sow. He helped carry the flag down Penn. Ave.
I met a 25 year old New Yorker. He has never been to DC before, never been in involved in politics before. He works on Wall Street; and is terrified that President Obama is going to move towards a world currency and that his policies are bringing the dollar down near collapse. He told me to buy gold. He brought his 6 year old nephew who had a ball.
I met a group of nurses from Ohio. They had a raffle at their hospital to see who would take the weekend off to come down to protest against the current healthcare plan. They drove down for the weekend taking turns driving. They attended the medical professionals against HR 3200 rally on Friday night.
I met another nurse from PA. She is a divorced mom who just sent her baby away to college. She wasn't going to come, but heard the President's speech on Friday afternoon and got mad. She called AAA to find an affordable hotel room and got in her car and drove to Rockville, MD. She knows that health care costs will not go down until tort reform is inacted; as they will continue to practice defensive medicine. She told me that every patient that goes into her hospital gets an MRI so they won't be sued; even if they don't think they need them.
I met a stay at home mom from Ohio. She came down for the weekend on the train with 10 friends and family members. Her daughter's boyfriend is one of my new heros. He doesn't understand why liberals don't get the fact the conservative government allows you to have liberal communities. This is a 17 year old kid. What a future he is going to have. I told her daughter she needs to hang on to this one.
I met small business owners, stay at home moms, business people, and blue collar people. I met far right conservatives, moderate republicans, moderate democrats, independents, and libertarians. They were seniors citizens, twenty somethings, moms, dads, grandparents, and kids. They were white, black, Asian, Hispanic, and Indian, and everything in between. It was Americana. The only ones missing were the liberal elite. Actually, they were there as well. Counter-protesting with a chant of "Bring Back Bush". They were dressed in formal attire and carried a sign that said; Billionares for Wealthcare. Basically they were ignored; which I think made them a little mad.
I met black people from DC. I asked them if they were planning on telling thier neighbors they were here. One of the moms, said she didn't want her teenage son to talk about it in school. DC is more than 90% liberal democrat. They too are more of my heros. She is teaching her son to stand up for what he believes in even when it is hard and not popular.
I met a couple from Idaho. They really resented the fact that they had to use thier vacation time to come to Washington for this reason. They felt that the only way Congress would listen is if the number was big. They told me they couldn't have lived with themselves if they didn't show up.
I met a young couple from Georgia. Again, never had been to protest. They have realized that Congress counts on Americans to live their lives and take care of thier families and not pay too much attention to them. Apathy has been our mistake.
You couldn't swing your arm without hitting someone from Texas. My gosh, it seems like half of Texas was in DC over the weekend. Ohioans and Floridians were not far behind.
When I was walking down Pennsylvania Avenue singing God Bless America I was proud of myself and every other person who showed up.
Apathy no more.