The event drew about 500-1000 protesters and there were about 20 counter protesters from the Chicago Single Payer Network. The majority of the signs were hand made and they varied in style and substance. Because rallies like this always create an intersection between local, state, and national politics, the protest continued to intersect between all those political intersections over and over.
For instance, Patrick Hughes was a speaker. Hughes is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate. He will be running against Congressman Mark Kirk. Kirk, himself a Republican, has become a scourge of the tea party movement with his vote for cap and trade. The mention of Kirk drew a plethora of boos from the crowd. After the scheduled speakers spoke, several folks from the crowd also spoke. One pointed out that Durbin, implicated in the University of Illinois clout scandal, would use his influence to put friends and family to the front of the line when health care would become rationed. Others pointed to cost overruns at the Illinois toll road as examples of broken promises. The bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security were examples of national government programs that made this crowd distrustful of Obama Care.
It's also clear that this crowd wasn't buying this morning's oped by President Obama. Fears of tax funded abortions, health care for illegals, and government take over and rationing were raised over and over. In fact, in most ways, the ideas that were presented today were a microcosm of the concerns we've heard at town halls everywhere this month.
If this crowd is any indication, then for tea parties the main reform health care mantra is tort reform. Patrick Hughes suggested allowing insurance to cross state lines, ending mandates, but it was when he pronounced his support for tort reform that the crowd exploded. That was his political home run. He wasn't the only one. Each and every time tort reform was mentioned was the moment when the crowd was at its most ruckus.
One speaker described her own personal story. Her daughter has a very rare heart condition. She says that her daughter required specialized cardiovascular surgery. It was her private insurance that gave her a full menu of doctors to choose from. She continued to point out that every drug, every procedure, and every doctor was created in America "the best health care system in the world".
A representative from Chicago Single Payer Network was also given a minute to speak. He said that his dad was treated FOR FREE for several decades under Medicare. He said the only fair system is the government run system. The crowd pointed out that Medicare is broke and that his dad's free health care was really picked up by someone else.
I also spoke with a sympathizer of the Chicago Single Payer Network after the rally. They are a self professed "Marxist". They are not only for a single payer health care but against business entirely which is "dictatorial". They believed that it's flat out evil that Warren Buffett has billions while others starve. He didn't believe that Microsoft should belong to Bill Gates, and refused to acknowledge that Gates should be rewarded for the risk he took when he started Microsoft. Instead, he saw a world in which workers owned their own wealth. When I said that any worker could own their own wealth by being an entrepeneur, he said that he envisioned a society without business. It is a command society where the workers rule. It's important to note that the Chicago Single Payer Network is part of a coalition that includes the International Socialist Organization.
There's no question that single payer is part of an ideology that eventually leads our society toward socialism, a point made by several speakers. What's fascinating about this ideology is it's disgust for private business, entrepeneurship, and free markets. Think about that as you watch this video of Congressman Weiner.
The same disgust for the free market that the Marxist felt was felt by Weiner in this clip. Make no mistake. The public option is a trojan horse for single payer. Also, make no mistake, those that support single payer are rooted in the ideology of Socialism. It's just that some more freely admit it than others.