Didja hear? Obama is coming to kill Grammaw. I'm a great believer in questioning authority. In fact, I'm told my first words were addressed to the obstetrician when I asked him, "Was it necessary to slap me like that?" But these damn fools that are disrupting town meetings about health care reform on the instigation of the Republican Party and their lobbyists aren't quite sure what they are questioning. They just know that they are beside themselves with visions of Communism and Socialism and fear that the totalitarian gub'ment will tell them which abortionist they must register their daughter with. The current Unsilent Minority, formerly the "Teabaggers," can't decide whether to protest against phantom taxes, or health care, or the president's birth certificate. All they know is that they look at Washington and see a president named Obama with an assistant named Rahm Emmanuel and a future Supreme Court Justice named Sonia Sotomayor (it's pronounced Soto-maYOR', not like Golda Meir), and they see the lily-white, Christian America of their patriotic fantasies slipping away. That frustration and rage you are now feeling is probably very much like what reasonable people around the world have felt for the past eight years.
What I would like to know is, where were all these outraged citizens who resent government intrusion in their lives when their children were being sent off to fight and die in a political war of choice? Isn't that the ultimate government interference? Where was the righteous indignation of the right when we learned that foreign civilians of questionable guilt were being tortured in secret prisons around the world in the name of the United States? There were no objections from the conservatives over the war in Iraq because it was planned and executed by their faith-based president and his corporate pals. In eight years, Bush never faced a heckler. All this current discord and hysteria by the "birthers," and the xenophobes is driven by a single overriding theme; fear of a black president. There is an undercurrent of white denial that rejects the notion of an erudite African-American as Chief Executive, so they go in search of any scrap of evidence that sinister forces must surely have been involved in his election. Obama's DNA on a 1961 Hawaiian-made pacifier wouldn't convince them otherwise. I'm reminded of Marlon Brando in "The Wild One," when asked what he was rebelling against, answered, "I dunno, whaddaya got?"
And the groups that turn out the mobs of angry whites in Bermuda shorts and ball caps always have such patriotic sounding names like Freedom Works and Liberty Council, as if their scripted disruptions had anything vaguely to do with freedom. This is what passes for a senior "flashmob;" people motivated by disinformation and fear who would rather shout down and close a public meeting than allow civil discourse on the subject of real health care reform. It appeared to me that the protesters were reasonably healthy looking, middle-aged white people, so I can assume they must already be insured. I am not, and readers of these posts know that I have endured a decade of retail, substandard, medical care that has affected me like a tire with a slow leak. I am counting on Obama's reforms, as are fifty million others that are one medical catastrophe from a financial dilemma. It's a great racket to pay premiums to an insurance company, have your health needs met and be obligated for only a fraction of the astronomical costs of advanced medical procedures. And the more procedures ordered, the more your doctor gets paid, or "reimbursed." It's a sweet tax right-off for your employer too, but it's done on the backs of the uninsured and the underinsured who are denied critical medical services every day. People are concerned about health care rationing? I can show you fifty million more uninsured like me, who would be happy with anything.
As far as the "public option" that the insurance companies, in collusion with assembly-line, procedure-mill doctors, are spending so much money trying to kill; I trust my government to look after me far better than any HMO or insurance company you could name. Private insurers have treated me like an untouchable; why would I ever consider giving them my business now? For those who scream "Socialism," with visions of Mr. and Mrs. Mussolini hanging upside-down in the town square, "socialism" can also mean that which is done for the common good. The concept of law is a socialistic idea, so if you intend to shun such radical thought, you should hire your own private security force. And when you drive, stick to city streets since you are not entitled to abuse the Eisenhower interstate system. If you get shot over a parking spot by another law-abiding citizen with a carry permit, don't dare dial 911. Drive yourself in your unregistered car to your personal physician as best you can with your illegal driver's license. But then, they'd only ask for a Social Security number.
Still, the Republicans will tell you that we have the finest health care system in the world and if the government becomes involved you will have to wait in line, like those wretched Canadians, to have your broken arm set.It is past time for someone to say it plainly; The Republicans are lying to you. They have always lied to you because that is what they are paid to do. By telling you that government is bad, and regulations are useless, they persuaded a great part of the electorate to vote about abortion pills and gay marriage while the country's economy flirted with total collapse. And look what it's gotten them. Abortion is still legal and the bans against same-sex marriage are falling in state after state. All that's left is for them to demonize the president and tell elderly people that the evil Obama wants them to hurry up and die. Their protestations over health care reform are not about the people's welfare, but because they wish to, in the words of S.C. Senator Jim DeMint, "Break the president."
I know which way my Congressman will vote on this issue, so I wasn't planning on attending his forthcoming town meeting. Now, I may have to go just for the circus. I live in a predominantly black district and since almost all the recruited phony protesters are white, I'd like to suggest a program change for my Representative. Before discussing health care reform, as a treat to the community, stage a brief concert/revue of some of Memphis' most promising rappers. Then we'll see how much conviction these outraged wingnuts have. And if they persist on pursuing this nonsense about Obama being a foreign-born, Constitutionally ineligible, illegitimate president, I will begin circulating petitions demanding that the Supreme Court re-examine and overturn their decision in the case of Bush v. Gore; Dec. 12, 2000. Then it will all have been just a bad dream. I can't wait until a "Wise Latina" gets ahold of that one.