( – promoted by SarahBurris)
This morning at the Oklahoma State Capitol right wing Sooner Tea Party along with the Pro-Tobacco and Dirty Energy Group Americans for Prosperity sponsored the “No to Socialized Healthcare and yes to Healthcare Freedom” rally on the Capitol’s steps. Birthers and “death panel” fanatics were there with bells on. The anti-Obama shirts and signs were everywhere. Most of the signs were painted with red and blue lettering and were patriotically anti-government. Walking around in Birkenstocks with a camera probably was not the stealthiest dress to blend in but I was able to capture some of the signs sprinkled with hate speech and anger.
The attendees were mainly older white people (probably closet socialists using Medicare). Americans for Prosperity, the NRA and a group called 912 Project passed out buttons and hats while asking for names phone numbers and emails. One of the speakers who worked for Americans for Prosperity seemed to be using the opportunity to talk more about “cap and tax” and railed against the government telling him what light bulbs he could use. (Yes please continue to lose your money in cooling cost for your house by warming it with inefficient bulbs – brilliant) But I digress.
The next speaker was a small business owner in the health industry who rambled on and on about the arcane details of government reimbursement for medical care. The next was a young man from England who works for the largest natural gas producer in the US. He spun a tale of the woes of the national health system in England. Working for the largest private employer in the state may not give him the best perspective to the trials of the millions of uninsured Americans today.
One man had a sign saying Congress should try the plan first… it isn’t clear if he knows that their plan is already paid for by the public as well…
I was surrounded by a older man, 3 women and one young angry marine when they discovered a non-believer was in their midst. I asked the older gentleman why he used Medicare if he didn’t believe in government run health care, he sheepishly admitted because it was a better deal.
When I asked why they were afraid of the public option and competition – they said the insurance companies can’t compete with the government subsidies and that the pubic option will destroy Medicare. When asked should we eliminate the socialized government run health system of Medicare they were silent.
I asked 10 random people who they would like to see President in 2012 – Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, and Michelle Bachman were the top picks.