Rally for ACA (Obamacare), Asheville, NC

rally5

This event, which was really an outdoor Town Hall meeting, focused on the right to affordable or better yet, single payer healthcare and the importance of not repealing Obamacare, since the ACA was an important step in that direction — and now it’s under threat.

I arrived early, so early there were only a few people there before me.  The day was cooler than it has been, but clear as a bell, as you can see in the photos.  It was fun taking pictures of all the different sights I saw.  Some of the protest signs were really creative.

rally0 rally1-1

I apologize — the tops of her signs got cut off but I think her shirt is a hoot.

I would say probably about 400 people attended, and maybe a few more than that.   Most of the people attending were older folks — some older than me (Medicare age), which makes sense since older people are the most likely to have medical issues and the most at risk should they lose their healthcare.   There were some young families there too though, and a couple of the speakers were quite young.

rally3

I was surprised how many people brought their dogs, and one woman, wearing a “pink pussy hat” had dressed up her little dog in an adorable miniature version of the hat she wore.   The sign she had made was pretty funny too.

rally6

rally7

Not everyone there was a Democrat. There were some independents, and even a few stray Republicans, who agree that ACA should not be repealed, like the sign of the lady shown below. When it comes to affordable healthcare, party really doesn’t matter. Some actually understand that.

rally14

Some of the signs were quite funny.  Here are a couple.

rally16

rally11

There were four speakers.  One speaker’s story brought tears to my eyes.  She talked about her son, who was born in 1974. Doctors urged her to have an abortion because he had some genetic abnormalities but she refused.   Well, the condition he had left him extremely vulnerable to certain forms of cancer, especially colon cancer.   In 2008, just before Obama was elected, when he was just 34, he had to be rushed to the emergency room.  He hadn’t been seeing doctors regularly  because they didn’t have the money and he could not get health insurance because of his pre-existing condition.  He was too sick to work enough hours to get company sponsored health insurance so he never got the surgeries and other treatments that had been recommended.   So he just did without.

rally2

One of the young volunteers.

On the day he was rushed to the ER, some tests were run, and it was found he had developed inoperable colon cancer. He died just before Christmas in 2008, just after Obama was elected, but before Obamacare was a reality.  It was too late for him.

rally4

The woman, who was now in tears, concluded her story by saying that no politician who says “No” to the ACA or who wants to repeal it has the right to call themselves pro-life.  Life doesn’t stop at the end of the birth canal.    Being pro-life means caring for people of ALL ages — and making sure everyone has affordable health care. No exceptions.

rally12

These are the kind of tragic personal stories that used to happen on a regular basis before the ACA was passed.  People dying prematurely and unnecessarily, and sometimes suffering horribly — just because they couldn’t get health insurance and weren’t wealthy enough to pay for treatments out of pocket.    And now our “dear leader” wants to roll back not only that but is also threatening social security, Medicaid, Medicare, and even Veteran’s benefits.   Can you imagine how horrible things would be if they were to succeed in taking all that away?   We can’t allow that.

rally9

rally10

I took lots of pictures — the rest are below this post. I didn’t have a sign this time, but next time I will make sure I do.  It was a good experience, and was very peaceful. In spite of the serious issue being addressed, it was a lot of fun too.

rally18

On my way out, there was a vendor selling related merchandise, such as T-shirts and buttons.   The proceeds go to the Indivisible movement, which co-sponsored this event.   These are my purchases (I’ll  be wearing these at the next event I attend — and carrying a sign too).  The button in the middle was free — it was given to me when I signed up for emails.

rally20

The rest of the photos:

rally13

rally15

rally17

 

 

Advertisements

Indivisible: starting to get involved.

indivisible-goes-local

Every day, the Trump  administration’s actions get more outrageous, more boneheaded, and meaner.   They seem to have no shame in how low they will go to destroy an entire nation.  They care nothing about the American people or what they want or need; they have no respect for the Constitution, are contemptuous of basic human or civil rights,  they are without a shred of empathy or kindness, and seem intent on bringing what’s left of our system crashing down and leaving everyone who isn’t part of the 1% (or white) without a voice, without freedom, without healthcare, without education, without clean air or water, but heavily controlled, deceived, and policed instead.  They seem to be fostering ignorance, intolerance, divisiveness, and hatred.   Every day it seems to get worse.  This administration has not done one thing that benefits the vast majority of Americans, and every decision they have made has been stupid, or evil, and usually both.

According to experts, we no longer even qualify as a democracy; in fact, the other day I read an article saying that  we have dropped to 21st in the Democracy Index, between Italy and Japan.  As of 2016, we are categorized now as a “flawed democracy” but I’d say even that’s way too generous.   Since Trump took office, I would say by now we have sunk even lower that that.    The next category down is “hybrid regime” (common in much of Eastern Europe, and some African and South American countries), and then “authoritarian”  (Russia, China, North Korea, much of Africa, and most of the Middle East).  We seem to be emulating Russia, one of the most authoritarian regimes in the world — and we have a president who may well have committed treason by involving Russia in the election.   We are becoming one of the most hated countries in the world, if not the most hated.  Trump’s actions against immigration are not making us safer; they are actually making us far more vulnerable to attack, not only by angering other countries, but by alienating us from our allies (such as Mexico) so they may refuse to step in and help if we need them.

I know lately I’ve been writing a lot about the political situation because it’s everywhere — and has taken over my mind.     The other day, TIME Magazine had an article about a PTSD-like condition that has become epidemic ever since Trump was elected.   Here is another article I found (there are many others):

Psychologists Say Stress Caused By Trump Administration Poses Threat to Public Health

I remember asking my therapist if there was something wrong with me because I was getting so depressed and obsessing so much over the political situation.  In fact, he said that most of his clients are very upset and some are finding it difficult to function.  Our mental health really is is suffering, especially those of us already suffering from PTSD, C-PTSD and other trauma based conditions.

Rather than just writing about it all the time,  I’m finally getting involved.  Besides attending the March for Science on Earth Day (April 22), I’m attending an ACA (Obamacare) Rally here in my city on February 25th.     I’ve become a member of the Indivisible Movement, a movement that is growing as fast or faster than the Tea Party did.   It seems better organized and more focused than Occupy and doesn’t seem like it will fizzle out or be silenced anytime soon, or at all.   Joining the Resistance makes me feel better; it makes me feel like I’m making a difference and my voice is being heard.

I urge everyone who agrees that this administration is evil and cares nothing about anything but stripping away everything good this country once stood for to join the Indivisible movement and attend any rallies or Town Hall Meetings in your area.  It costs nothing to get involved.

Here is their website, where you can download their guide or ask questions.

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/