Thursday, March 25, 2010

The 10 Most Interesting People I Met at the Tea Party Rally D.C. 3/20/2010

I had the pleasure of attending the impromptu Healthcare Bill Protest Rally last Saturday with my father, We drove up from NC on Friday night, made our voices heard on Saturday, drove back Saturday night, and were in church Sunday morning to teach Sunday School class. Although the Bill did not go our way, it was all in all a profitable weekend.

I met many people at the Rally. My wife claims I can talk to anyone (or anything). I suppose she’s right. These are my list of top 10:

  1. A young black woman. No, I am not being un-PC. She was standing right behind my dad and me, clutching a book to her chest, watching the Rally with a twisted, angry expression. I watched her out of the corner of my eye. I had watched African –Americans circulating through the crowds baiting them- looking for a fight in front of a camera. I was a little concerned. Finally I asked with a polite smile, “So, what’s your take on all of this?” She unloaded on me…with a CONSERVATIVE rant! It turns out she was Trinidad-American, had earned her American citizenship, and she and her husband owned a Healthcare business. The bill was going to kill her business, and she was angry and confused with our lwmakers. She spoke on the health of her elderly patients, the freedoms she had to fought to gain and was now losing again, the audacity of this Congress, and the stupidity of the American people for giving up their freedoms so easily. She had ridden the train from Connecticut by herself to voice her opinion. She stayed with us for about and hour, talked, protested, and took one of my signs to shake at the Capitol.
  2. A very old white woman. She came walking up to me looking a good bit confused. I was a little concerned for her. She looked lost. She started talking to me. Do I just have that kind of face, or something?? Anyway, she says, “I live just on the other side of Washington. My nursing home tried to keep me from coming today, but I told them that I was a free citizen of this country, and I could go exercise my rights if I wanted to. So I left, hopped on a train, and here I am!” I REALLY became concerned for her (amused, but concerned). She went on to tell me that her friends in the home either voted for the Democrats or could care less about politics. “Are they CRAZY?!”, she exclaimed. I laughed again. Before it was over, her daughter wandered up. The home had called. Luckily, they had been able to find “Mom”.
  3. One of the members of the House of Representatives who spoke at the Rally. I happened to be standing at a spot where the speakers exited to go back to Capitol Hill. He came back through, was shaking hands with the crowd, and was thanking US for coming out. He continually, sincerely kept encouraging us and call us the heroes. When the crowd asked who he was and where to send donations to his campaign, he refused to give his name. He simply kept answering, “Donate to anyone who votes NO!” A cheer went up from the crowd at a politician’s selflessness. I still do not know who he was.
  4. A man and his young son on the train ride in to the rally. While leaning over and playing with his son on the floor, the man passed out cold. He did a header into the wall and gashed his finger open. This story is more about the men and women who came to their rescues. Strangers attended the man, gave him what he needed, and took care of his son (who was very frightened for daddy). These strangers were Ralliers from around the nation. Their signs gave them away. I am glad American still care for one another in moments of need.
  5. and 6. A Vietnam Vet and a WWII Vet standing in the crowd who stopped me as I was walking through and started taking to me. They liked my t-shirt. They were shaking their heads. Their general consensus was, “We fought Communism in Vietnam and Socialism against Hitler only to have these idiots force it on us here in our own country? Who do these dictators think they are?” I sincerely thanked them for their service, and walked off feeling embarrassed. I was standing among men who had given greatness. All I had to really add was a lousy t-shirt.

7. A guy in a tight yellow t-shirt ( it said- ATL-Anti Tyranny League), muscles like cannonballs, mirror shades, chomping on a cigar and wearing a hard hat. I couldn’t help it, the cigar got me, and I had to talk to him. I asked him about the cigar. He was standing front of the House Offices with the yelling Tea partiers. His thick Jersey active accent assaulted me, “ I useta be a Demacrat- a card carrin’ liberal, union member, really!! But who do deez people think dey aar- DICTATAS?? I mean REALLY!! Deez guys just do what dey want and keep goin- I mean GEEZ!! Deez guys gotta be stopped!!” I told him, “I’m a card carrying Republican.” He said, “Well, I won’t hold dat against ya!” We both threw back our heads and roared laughing. I love this guy. I thought we were going to hug. We shook hands and promised to smoke our cigars together in freedom on the House steps.

  1. A woman holding a sign which said, “I escaped from Castro, Cuba, and Socialized Healthcare just for THIS??!!” I just HAD to talk to her. She was on fire, fascinating, and exactly right! If only America could have heard her.
  2. Representative Michele Bachmann (Minnesota). I typically have little praise for politicians and even less for lawyers. She is both. Oh well. Having seen her on Fox several times, I can say I like her attitude towards D.C. and her stance towards freedom. So, I wanted to meet her. I did. She did the talking, smiling, signing, picture taking, hand shaking politician thing. Okay. As she was signing, she picked up a sign made by a young child. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she said, “Did you make this? Oh come here you beautiful baby!!” She picked up the child and started to hug it. The kid started to cry. It was funny and everyone laughed. Mrs. Bachmann reacted like a mother of 5 and a foster mother of 23 would. I felt it was a genuine moment, and I was impressed.
  3. My father. I have always admired my father for many reasons. In his lifetime he has played baseball for Kansas City, headed the ATF in NC, worked with the Secret Service protecting Presidents of the U.S., been an Elder in the Church for years, has raised a family, traveled the globe, and so much more. I now have one more reason for admiration. My father is a patriot. On bad knees and really low blood pressure, my dad went with me, stood beside me, and protested with me. I hope that I can live to be half the man he is.

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