Nick Nichols

I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so when a politician calls other Americans “un-American,” it conjures up the bad old days of Joe McCarthy—that cold war demagogue sent to the U.S. Senate by Dairy State voters. Not Wisconsin’s finest hour!

Over the past few weeks, citizens who exercised their First Amendment rights protesting the Democrats’ politically motivated race toward socialized medicine have become the target of all sorts of vitriol from Democrat congressional leaders. These modern-day Capitol Hill McCarthyites have yelped that the citizen-protesters showing up at town-hall meetings to say “no” to ObamaCare are akin to political terrorists, Nazis, Ku Klux Klan racists (according to Rep. John Dingell) and “evil-mongers” according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

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Topping off these smear-by-analogy attacks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and her sidekick Rep. Steny Hoyer, wrote a column in USA Today charging that the behavior of the protesters is “simply un-American.” I have news for these thin-skinned solons, what’s happening at your home district town-hall meetings is about as un-American as the Boston Tea Party or those mass demonstrations against the Vietnam War, or those Obama for President campaign rallies that most of you participated in.

Voting for a massive healthcare bill without even reading it is un-American. Expecting your constituents to roll over and bark at the moon every time you give the command is un-American. Attempting to use taxpayer cash during a recession to buy new, luxury jets for the congressional air force (ConAir) not only gives new meaning to the term “cash-for-clunkers,” but it is also, I would argue, un-American! No wonder millions of constituents are trying to make Democrats feel like prairie dogs at a rattlesnake convention.

Regrettably, there are some private sector groups that also deserve to be severely rattled for their actions during the healthcare debate. PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry, pledged $80 billion over the next decade to support the Administration’s version of healthcare reform. Not to be outdone, the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., pledged $155 billion in spending reductions. I hope the public and rational lawmakers will remember those numbers after the dust settles on the question of socialized medicine.

Nick Nichols

Nick is a retired crisis communications executive. He also developed and taught graduate-level crisis management courses at the Johns Hopkins University. Nick is the author of Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to Fight and Survive Attack Group Shakedowns. He is a Vietnam veteran.