I walked briskly to the site of the 2012 Chicago Tax Day Tea Party on April 16 at the Daley Plaza to join others downtown where the Tea Party Movement began.
The theme of the 2012 event was "Reform government, Cut Spending & Preserve Liberty" with its goal of making government more accountable, stopping out-of-control spending and standing up for freedom and individual liberty.
While most Tea Party groups represent active members within the Republican Party, Tea Party participants also come from the ranks of Independents and Libertarians, with a sprinkling of moderate Democrats, all who support tax reform.
Somewhat disappointing is that there were not more participants. The estimate given was 250, but those who came out on a day when the wind chill made it feel like winter had returned in full force were rewarded.
There was much flag waving as the speakers mounted the portable state in Daley Plaza. At one point a gust of wind threatened to take down the state, but we were told not to worry as the stage was anchored by stacks of hefty tax books.
One of those speakers was Dr. Mark Neerhof, OB/GYN, who as a top-notch candidate to replace retiring Karen May in the Illinois 58th Representative District, lost his bid to Lauren Turelli in the recent Illinois March Primary Elections. It would be a great loss if Dr. Neerhof were to drop out of the political arena and not seek to run for a future office.
Besides being an attending physician at NorthShore University HealthSystem and a clinical associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Dr. Neerhof is an executive board member of Docs4PatientCare. This latter organization has a plan to 1) Defund, 2) Repeal, and 3) Replace, should the Supreme Court axe the Obamacare mandate.
I never tire of Dr. Neerhof's personal story about his humble background and how his parents scoffed at the notion of their son achieving his dream of becoming a doctor. As a physician, Dr. Neerhof believes that he lives in the best nation in the world with the best healthcare system in the world.
Dr. Neerhof spoke of the American Revolution as being more than just throwing of the shackles of British rule. It was a fight for American ideals. That man could govern himself. That with a smaller government our freedoms would be maximized.
In describing the Obamacare legislation, Dr. Neerhof touched on these seven points:
1. The Obamacare bill was designed to take control of our medical system, not to improve it.
2. The 2,700 pages is a contract for bureaucrats to take charge of our healthcare.
3. The estimated cost of Obamacare has in two years gone from $984 billion to $1.76 trillion
4. The promise to keep our own healthcare is a bogus one. By 2014 one half of employers will place their employees in the government's program because the fine paid will be less than what it would cost to purchase healthcare for their employees.
5. Premium increases are already happening, as insurance companies are complying with rules that have already been set for what must be covered.
6. Obamacare represent the takeover of 1/6 of our economy.
7. Government is not able to run such a massive healthcare system as represented by Obamacare, when its administration of Medicaid and Medicare is riddled with fraud, waste and abuse.
In closing Dr. Neerhof asked each one of use to look at a quarter. He then inquired, "What does it say?"
"In God We Trust": We must remember that our rights come from God.
"Liberty": Gives all of us a chance to follow our dreams.
"E Pluribus Unum": Latin for "Many uniting into one", which makes the present race-baiting an affront against our nation's motto.
My thoughts were centered on the words imprinted on the quarter as I walked back to the Ogilvie Transportation Center. Do the words even ring true in this day and age among our government leaders or in the hearts and minds of the American people?
I came away inspired by the featured speakers.
Through my own story-telling I will continue to fight for smaller government, more freedom, and fiscal responsibility as a way to do my part to keep alive a strong and vibrant nation for our children and for generations to follow.