Two Days, Two Rallies:Part Two
By: Elizabeth Marion
Friday night I spent time recovering from the Obamacare rally. The only thing that really surprised me was the prayer. I remembered how excited the crowd had been. They loved Barack Obama and they wanted Obamacare. Then I thought of the Tea Party. We needed to show up in Washington with as much energy as the Obama supporters had at that rally. I could only hope that we got a good turnout.
I arrived at the rally the next day about twenty minutes late, but it didn’t matter. Washington would be full of Tea Partiers for hours and the turnout was great. The estimates ranged from thirty thousand to sixty thousand. I couldn’t see the stage, but the sound was pretty good and I could hear most of what was said. Most of the time I wasn’t quite sure who was talking, but I booed at mentions of Obamacare and the stimulus and I cheered encouraging messages of taking a stand and making Congress pay in the November elections. Chants of “kill the bill” broke out frequently and sometimes drowned out the speakers.
After listening to several speakers I decided to pull away and look around Washington. I knew I would be back for other rallies and protests and tried to familiarize myself with the area. I quickly found out that D.C. was a much more backwards place than I originally thought.
By the time I got back to the Capitol the rally was over and protesters were outside the House and Senate Office buildings. I joined a group across from the Cannon building. Members of Congress began walking by the crowd and shaking hands. I was disappointed that I didn’t recognize more of them. I was also angry at the Congressmen who came by thanking us for being there, but refused to say how they would vote. One even walked by saying he wasn’t sure how he was going to vote, which I found both interesting and annoying. I was only able to catch the names of two ‘no’ votes I shook hands with-Aaron Schock and Mary Fallin. The crowd cheered when they saw Peter King, who walked by twice. I was confused at first because I thought he was Al Franken when I first saw him. Most of the Congressmen were just trying to jump on the Tea Party bandwagon and I couldn’t help feeling anxious about the vote the next day.
I don’t think I need to remind everyone what happened at the vote the next day. All those people who had shown up in protest had been ignored by Congress. They have convinced themselves that they know better and that the lies they have been telling are actually true. Despite all of that, now is not the time to get discouraged. It is the time to get energized. Several states are already prepared to fight back and we need to remember our voting power in November. We have to get out to the polls in seven months and get rid of the people who are ignoring us and get some people in Congress who are willing to do the right thing. No matter what Congress allows themselves to believe we will not forget. We must not forget.