Today, NYT blogger David M. Herszenhorn posted On the Hill, Protesters Chant ‘Kill the Bill’ to his Prescriptions blog. It’s a mood piece with interviews of some select protesters in the anti-health reform “tea party” protest (my environmental communication professor calls them “tea baggers”).
Called there by anti-reform pedagogue Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), the protestors wave signs and yell. A lot of the things they are saying in defiance of the pending bill are fairly erroneous, and they reject any of the responses Herszenhorn gives to their critiques, like (paraphrase), “Didn’t you hear about Max Baucus’s efforts to work with Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee in order to draft a bipartisan health care bill?” A man named Jerry Hershberger from Texas says something like, “Yeah, whatever, it was lame, and it proves that thing didn’t work, but yeah, still, we want some conservatism reflected in the bill. Give us what we want.” Another protester says that the lack of expediency associated with getting out the H1N1 vaccine proves that the government would do a horrible job at… doing anything for the benefit of her health.
It’s your usual protesting scene, you know, but what is really striking to me is how the older citizenry is beginning to co-opt grassroots organizing–or at least protesting–as a strategy. There has been some controversy about the legitimacy of this organizing however, because of the business-organized “astroturf” protests present at some health care town hall meetings in the past. It is amusing to see the white collars, the clean blazers, the wrinkles at these protests.
I am troubled to think that the national health care debate will be manipulated by a demographic of Americans who are not only wealthy enough now to afford decent health care from private providers, but who will also soon be dead. This is why it is so important for young adults to show their support for health care reform. It is they who must face the good or bad consequences of any future actions.
On a completely different note, I have organized two more fundraising house shows at Kraft Haus, 505 C. N. Greensboro St, Carrboro. No, they’re not to benefit Barack Obama and his evil socialist regime. Profits will go to “Help Jacquelyn Lee Make an Album,” my poorly but unambiguously named charity (really, it’s just me, you know) to raise at least $500 to pay for the printing, packaging and promoting costs of releasing my album. Albums are expensive business. It is already being recorded for free by the gracious, talented and easy to talk to David Harper of Vinyl Records UNC, but you wouldn’t believe how much all of the other stuff can cost. I won’t even be able to purchase digipaks, which go for a little more than a dollar a piece… if you buy 1000. I’ll need to think of something more artsy and homemade.