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MNA Bus and Jackets Highlighted in Barbara Anderson Column

Barbara Anderson: Note to Tierney: Not everyone’s crazy about Obamacare

Barbara Anderson

Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution
Hey I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution
Ain’t it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution got to revolution…
Come on now we’re marching to the sea
Got a revolution got to revolution
Who will take it from you? We will and who are we?
We are volunteers of America.
— Jefferson Airplane, "Volunteers," 1969

I wasn’t at Woodstock when Grace Slick and her band performed this anthem 40 years ago this month. I was preparing to move with my Navy husband to assignment in Greece.
But my social libertarian side related, not to the drugs, but to the desire for more freedom in an uptight society.

Admittedly, the Woodstock generation may have overdone this somewhat. Worse, and incredibly, some became supporters of Big, Controlling Government in later years!

Not I. Not Chip Ford, who was 19 in 1969 and would have been at Woodstock had he not been an Army draftee. Last week we were among those some have labeled "right-wing kooks" rallying in Peabody Square.

The rally was organized by Republican congressional candidate Bill Hudak to urge that our congressman, John Tierney, hold a town meeting on ObamaHealth before there’s a vote on the bill, regardless of what it ends up saying.

There were an estimated 500 people in the square, which seemed impressive for a weekday, though many were union members who always seem to find time for these things. Still, I thought, the more the merrier in support of asking our congressman to show up to discuss the issue with his constituents, i.e.; his employers.

But wait! Many of those who came in response to an e-mail from Tierney looking for help — the Massachusetts Nurses Association arrived in its own blue MNA bus — were there to oppose a meeting with constituents!

Those nurses were wearing blue T-shirts saying "Medicare for all;" never mind that Medicare for just seniors is almost bankrupt.

But another nurse, not wearing blue, was on the other side of the square in support of a town-hall meeting to discuss the small problem of unaffordability. The MNA, like most unions, doesn’t speak for all its members.

The seniors, veterans, boomers, young people and mothers with small children didn’t look like "right-wing kooks" to me, though as always there were one or two in the crowd. One was waving a sign saying "the voters are idiots," which seemed counterproductive to me, since the goal was not only to express frustration, but to get said voters on our side.

Hudak, however, is easily defined as "one of us" — the voters who want respect and accountability from the people we elect.

I went as a columnist, but found myself cheering when Hudak, in shirtsleeves, jumped on top of his slogan-covered SUV to address the crowd. I heard him speak two days later at the Marblehead Republican Town Committee picnic; the man is a natural. His campaign theme, "Restore the balance in America," reflects a need for more voices in Congress to stand up to Obama’s rush to radical change.
This theme is similar to that of gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, who was also at the RTC picnic: "This campaign is about jobs, the budget and balance."

As an Independent, I try to stay out of Republican primaries, but it’s hard when an old friend like Charlie is running.

I’m trying to wait on the congressional race: Dave Sukoff, with whom I’ve spoken by phone, also seems a viable candidate; and Rich Baker, who ran in 2006, made a fine presentation at the picnic; so it looks as if the Republicans have a potentially impressive primary in the works here. While Tierney is e-mailing his supporters for help in avoiding a town meeting, his opponents are out and about, starting the 2010 revolution.
It’s not just the top of the ticket either. At the picnic I met a young man with the map of America on his face with freckles and a smile, who is already running for a North Shore state rep. seat. Another attractive young man just joined the town committee with a future political campaign in mind. And two other young guys were "fighting" over a raffle item — a Reagan sweatshirt — reminding some of us older activists of the "Reagan kids" who first got involved during the revolutionary 1980 presidential campaign.

Yes, the Obamaphiles who want to change America are meeting citizens who want entirely different change — away from Big Government, high taxes, suffocating debt and the erosion of the American dream. They want reform of health care, but not a government takeover; control over government-connected Big Business, not control over the entire free market; jobs with real wages, not taxpayer handouts to failed entities. No wonder the Democratic machine is scrambling to demonize these citizens by grabbing the occasional "kook" and trying to make him appear representative of the opposition. Too many other Democrats, along with Independents, are looking for some balance in both budgets and ideology.

They are the new "volunteers of America," and they got themselves a revolution. They don’t push drugs and they like policemen. (Those in Peabody Square that day were very nice, by the way.)
Now where did I store my tie-dye T-shirts?

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a regular Viewpoint columnist.