With Obama’s version of the Healthcare Bill officially release this morning, I find the need to share an interesting experience I had with my mom and the Tea Party Movement. For those of you who aren’t completely familiar with the TPM, I’ll do a short briefing. The movement originated over the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which was aimed at economic recovery from the Bush Administration. The protests started over many reasons, two being the increase in the national debt and the way government spending was being handled. Protesters are now against the Healthcare Reform.
There have been many protests from the TPM and my mom decided that we should attend the one in Washington DC on December 15th. The rally was to voice concern on the Healthcare Bill and the goal was to rush the congressional offices to try to sway Republican representatives who were considered swing votes. When we got off the metro and reached the DC Mall, my mother and I shared a few laughs about the lack of people around. In fact, hardly anyone was jogging around the Mall like usual and there seemed to be very little tourists around the surrounding museums! We were in red, which was the official color of the protest, and every time we came across someone in the same color we would look at them awkwardly as if they were to direct us to the rally. When we reached the Capital everything seemed rather serene.
Finally we found some protesters starting to make their way to the left side of the Capital and followed suit. As we turned the corner we started to hear the rally and the mega speaker. We were greeted with an ambush of informational packets, stickers, flags, and flyers and backed ourselves away into a side pocket were the intensity wasn’t so high. The flag that everyone wildly waved around was bright yellow with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” with a coiled snake as the logo. Many different speakers passed around the microphone and patriotic music played as the rally began to grow. My mom and I left after about an hour or so to grab lunch and then we did not return to follow everyone into the congressional offices (even though it would have been neat to go inside).
Yes–there were some creepy effigies and some brash signs but overall I felt like the rally was a group of concerned individuals that did not want to subject themselves to the proposed Healthcare plan. There was about 600 people at the rally in my opinion but I know that the same thing was taking place all over the nation at congressional offices. I saw people from all over the USA too–not only in the tri-state area but from Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, New York and more. While I was expecting a larger turnout, I feel that the TPM is definitely growing and is starting to make its presence known. There was little media coverage on the rally which was expected.
Overall, I think many Americans have concerns with the Healthcare Bill but are not exactly willing to go out and protest. I also believe that a large portion of the nation doesn’t even understand the pros and cons of the reform or how it would potentially affect them. With Obama’s new proposed bill, which seems to be taking much of the Senate’s bill into consideration, it is expected that new protests will occur. I am interested to see how everything will play out in the end!