Niki Tsongas Tall Hall Extravaganza

 The Town Hall event was for the Congresswomen and people of her district to have a friendly discussion of health care reform trying to take place in the country.  The event was original scheduled for the Market Basket supermarket in Chelmsford, MA and moved to the Chelmsford Town Hall gymnasium due to a very large demand.  Even that was not enough as there was no parking left and a line of a couple of hundred people waiting to get in.


I was able to park not too far away and started walking towards the gymnasium.   As I saw the people waiting in line I noticed at least two-thirds were older, if not Medicare age.  There were many signs being held up against the health care reform and only a few for it.   The most disgusting signs were the ones depicting President Obama as Hitler and one large sign showing Obama taking people and placing them in ovens.  One group was even handing out flyers about how Obama was Hitler.  I believe most of these were from the LaRouche PAC who's members are extremely to the right.


Many other signs said basically keep government out of their lives or stop spending money.  I stood in line with 4 older people, two gentlemen and two ladies.  All of them had Medicare.  The two ladies said "this happened in Germany and is happening here."  I told her that I was offended by her comments, but the two gentlemen jumped in and agreed with her.  Then they started talking about Glenn Beck and how the government, even during Bush's time in office, was liberal.  


I asked them if any of them had a problem with the Medicare they are receiving.  Only one of the gentlemen said he did not like it because it limits the drugs he can get, which is normal under any health care plan.  The rest had operations, one of the gentlemen having three, and were satisfied with their health care being taking care of by the government.  When I asked then why would they not want the same for everyone and they said almost in unison that it was socialism.  Then I asked them could you please describe socialism and not a single one had any idea about it, only that the government runs programs and they changed the subject.


These four also complained about health care in Canada and the UK.  When I asked them how do they know, they referred back to Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  Having lived in countries where there was a single payer system, Germany and Italy, I told them that these were lies and I never waited more than one day to see my regular doctor and the wait times were comparable for specialists and test to here.   One of the gentlemen said, "good for you."  They all also agreed that the biggest problem with health care was that tort reform was needed and that somehow would magically solve all the problems with the health care industry.  


The group started going off on the federal deficit, which is huge.  They complained about the new airplanes that the government wants, which I am also against.  When I brought up President Bush and that he ran up nearly $5 trillion in debt, their response was that he kept us safe.  Maybe or maybe not, but he still ran up a huge debt and not a single one of them could think of one program that Bush did for the American people that did not involved Homeland Security or terrorism.   They told me that I was just as bad as the new media and Bush did a great job.   Considering that they sounded like they only watched Fox News, I am not sure how much of the news media they are watching.  Surprisingly no one brought up if President Obama was really an American.


They all agreed that unfettered capitalism with no restrictions would solve the problem, and making as much money as possible was a good thing.  Everyone did agree that something needed to be done, we just had very different opinions on how to get there.  The people I was speaking with seemed very highly educated, one of the gentlemen was teacher, but they are misinformed by only watching one news source.  


I never did get into the town hall, but another one is scheduled for Tuesday, 11 August 2009.  Maybe I will try to make that one.


UPDATE: The Lowell Sun has posted a video of what went on, including the Nazi posters with Obama and people trying to shout down Congresswomen Tsongas as she was trying to speak.