Taking On The Town Hall Trashers

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Posted: Aug 04, 2009 8:02 PM
It's clear now that the Obama administration does not take kindly to an informed public.  As more and more information emerges on the heavy ramifications that come with his health care plans, we've seen elected officials return to their states/districts to find unhappy constituents.  MSNBC has described the groups of veterans, senior citizens, hockey moms and business owners showing up at local town halls as "raw hooliganism," and today, the White House took the Clinton-esque route of claiming conspiracy: constituents venting personal concerns at town hall meetings were deemed "organized" groups of conservatives, "manufacturing anger" towards the Obama plan--a hilarious accusation since the conservative right has had no organization for quite some time. 

Oh, the audacity of dissent!  Of course the American people couldn't be smart enough to actually figure out what his plan means for the health care industry on their own; and of course people would never be vocally angry with a policy that would dramatically alter and affect their own health care!

Furthermore, I'm finding it hard to tell the difference between MSNBC's prime-time line-up and Robert Gibbs' briefing room.  I find it absurd that the media would describe an aged veteran as a "thug" for challenging his own representative's claims about how great the VA system is when the representative, not a veteran himself, has never experienced it. 

To demonstrate the "organized outrage"** of today's town hall meetings, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported last night about a group called "Right Principles" and pointed to a memo from the group that outlined "tactics" for disturbing town hall meetings--clear evidence of widespread orchestrated hooliganism, right?  Not quite.  I guess it didn't occur to Maddow that this group--with a membership following of 3 people on Twitter--might not speak for all the Americans who have objections to Obamacare.  Apparently, MSNBC also didn't put much thought into how a group of three people could so widely infiltrate town hall meetings across the country.  Conspiracy! (**Please see Alinsky, Saul)

I say ignore all this hoopla.  If the administration were so confident of its policy, what's the harm in a little open debate?  After all, this debate is over a policy that will directly impact our health and our children's health--perhaps the most important and fragile issue in most of our lives.  Keep attending town hall meetings and respectfully sharing your concerns and personal opinions with the people you've elected to work for you.  The White House is looking for information, I say give it to 'em; flood them with it.  Send them the information on health care that addresses the issues that matter most to you. 

Most importantly, don't let your opinions and thoughts be shrugged off; you have a right to that opinion and a responsibility to share it.