I certainly had no intention of watching or subjecting myself to the sights and sounds of Saturday's Tea Party March up State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. Yet, making my way through downtown, on my way back from the post office, I chanced to find myself walking alongside this crowd.
So who would spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon protesting and in some cases literally banging the drum in opposition to health care reform?
My daughter, who was with me at the time, beat me to articulating what my eyes confirmed. "They're all old and white," she noted. Of course, when you're only 14, "old" is a relative term, but by and large, she was right.
It's usually the oppressed and disenfranchised who come out to protest. But this Tea Party rally crowd seems to be made up exclusively of the well-fed, the well-heeled and the well-off. And their well-being, is something they don't seem to want to share. At least not when it comes to making healthcare available to more people.
Never mind that they were utilizing plenty of government resources in the form of at least a half-dozen Santa Barbara Police officers who were stopping traffic for them at intersections and keeping a watchful eye on the protest. While the City's footing the bill for their police protection, they're begrudging people who are finally going to get some protection for their health care costs.
One woman who was part of the group carried a sign that had a picture of thong underpants and said, "Take your filthy paws off my silky drawers." Well, you can never accuse her of not dreaming big.
At the rally in front of the courthouse there was a speaker ranting about "socialist this" and "socialist that." And in response to a speaker's question, "Is it a right to have health care?" the crowd responded with shouts of, "No!"
Without a doubt, this was the I-got-mine-may-you-never-get-your's crowd.
Didn't anybody tell these people that when you finally make it to the top you're supposed to send the elevator back down to the lobby?
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