Not Exactly Like the Norman Rockwell Painting

Not a pro-health insurance company thug
If you peek over at the sidebar, you’ll notice that my photo is a copy of Norman Rockwell’s Freedom of Speech. I’ll turn the description over to driftglass:

He’s nervous. Really nervous.

By his tan and his hands and his clothes, you can tell he’s a working man. Everyone around him is wearing a tie; his collar is open.

Those are his remarks there in his pocket, which he probably spent a long time writing out, tossing out, and then rewriting.

He probably told his family that tonight he’s gonna go down to the meetin’ and give those Big Guys what ‘fer.

His wife was probably very proud of her man; he can swing an ax or drive a dozer, but he’s never been too good with words. Maybe she helped him with his remarks; maybe he didn’t want his woman to see him struggling with something that he has trouble mastering.
…now he’s there, in his laborer’s clothes, and all his neighbors are looking at him, and his wife and kids and the warm comfort of his home are across town.

He stands.

He grabs the pew in front of him for dear life; sinks his nails into the wood.

It’s something solid. Something real. He perhaps gains strength from hanging on to something hewn and boned and made straight and true by honest hands. This is something he understands in his skin.

This, and that come what may, he’s a goddamned American Citizen, and has every right in the world to be there, to stand, and to be heard.

When did we forget that?

His remarks – toiled and sweated over as much as anything he’s done at any job site – stay rolled up in his pocket.

He doesn’t need them.

All he has to do is plant his feet, stand straight, tell the truth like he sees it, and speak from his heart.

Then there are the insane anti-health insurance reform ranters, put into proper perspective by this cartoon:
The pro-health insurance company ranters aren’t the victims, but the victimizers.

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2 Responses to Not Exactly Like the Norman Rockwell Painting

  1. “The pro-health insurance company ranters aren’t the victims, but the victimizers.”
    Like most people they are victims of a healthcare system that doesn’t work, and are being manipulated by business interests into thinking that reform will actually hurt them.
    It’s old news, most people don’t think rationally about politics. I had a conversation with my own father who complained that congress was trying to “take over his healthcare.” My father is completely uninsured and self-employed, so he doesn’t even have any healthcare for anyone to take over. When I pointed this out to him, he tried to argue that the bill somehow took away his ability to pay out of pocket, which as far as I can tell he simply pulled out of his ass on the spot. I tried to argue further, that if he ever had a catastrophic illness in his current condition he’d be bankrupt, but to no avail. He has the AM radio hate jocks in his ear all day.
    I’d call people like my dad both victims and victimizers. They act as instruments for not only their harm but the harm of others. It’s a sad thing to watch, really.

  2. David says:

    as corny as it is, I love that painting. But I disagree with driftglass. He’s no longer nervous. He was when he started talking. I would guess when he started he was looking down, mumbling a little, lips barely moving, and nobody really listened. But now he’s been talking for a while. He’s on a roll. His hands are relaxed, his head high, mouth open, voice projecting, and everybody in the hall is listening. The audience is suprised. Eyebrows raised, necks craned. The guy to his right approves. The painting is at the moment of triumph.

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