The highly-publicized behavior of many of the town hall protesters, who object to Obama's "health care reform" (it's not a reform, but a government boondoggled engineered to convert the already-socialized health care system to a carbon copy apparatus of Massachusetts' "single-payer health care" system), should be viewed with disdain, simply because of their unruly and uncivilized behavior at these events. It's one thing to be outraged by the provisions of the 1,000-plus page bill, which includes globs of ominous sections (one of them giving the Secretary of the Department of HHS very vague and very undefined powers); it's another to level shouting matches, ad hominems, and personal attacks at the politicians and bureaucrats who obviously are not telling their constituents the entire truth about the bloated legislation.
Let's take Senator Claire McCaskill's appearance at a Hillsboro district meeting in Jefferson County, Missouri on August 11, 2009 for example. McCaskill, a socialist Democrat from the state, publicly declares that there won't be a "single-payer health care" bill passed in Congress. She also claims that members of Congress are not going along with the idea and that it's not on the table, although the bulk of the members of the audience are convinced otherwise. Watch the following YouTube clip that showcases how the audience members act towards the senator:
The next clip is not so clear at all. It unveils two purportedly disruptive black women who allegedly caused a commotion at the same event, and you can see an irate McCaskill shouting out to the women, who were being forcefully removed by the local police in attendance:
While it's not entirely clear what the "disruption" was all about, the women in the audience were not unruly at all and did not appear to be that way, except for the members of the audience there. If the women were "disruptive," what about the attendees? Weren't many of them being "disruptive" at all? Why wasn't the entire room cleared out if that were the case? Why the selective removal of certain people from what it appears to be more of a health care rally for McCaskill than a town hall meeting?
The two women shouldn't have been removed at all, and were not even disruptive at all. But even if they were, does that justify their removal from the room? One would think not.
The attitudes of the protesters that encourage some of the flaming emotions running wild at these events should not be condoned, although I sympathize and empathize with these people and how they feel. These angry emotions are epitomized at the following CNN video clip of Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA)'s uproarious town hall event:
The man who walks away from Specter after excoriating him in front of the audience members and the cameras screams furiously, "I'm leaving!" Then Specter, with great arrogance and smugness, responds with the following statement: "Ok, ok, ok, we just, uh, we just had, uh, we just a demonstration of democracy. Ok?" The idiocy of the "demonstration of democracy" argument can be argued for another day, so I won't waste the space on this blog post refuting Specter's ludicrous quip. This is hardly the time and place for it, so I will blog about that at a later time.
Here's the full CNN clip of some of the other members demanding Specter to "leave us alone," which includes a 35-year-old conservative Republican woman taking her potshots at the senator:
I have a suggestion for these individuals: calm down. Take some deep breaths. Blind anger and inability to reason is going to make you look not only bad on camera but also to the masses at large. While I concur with you that Obama's "health care reform" is a travesty (not to mention immensely terrible), flaring tempers and having meltdowns in front of your elected officials are not going to bring people, especially those who are undecided on the health care issue, to your side. Repeating unfounded rumors that you may have heard on the internet or on the radio isn't going to score you brownie points; it'll just turn people away from your talking points. All you're doing is alienating yourselves from those who might be persuaded to hear your side of the aisle. Just simply make the moral, philosophical, and economic case against government control and expansion of medical care. Nothing harms the cause of human liberty more than any of the childish and absurd claptrap I've exemplified.
All of that being said, that doesn't mean Specter, McCaskill, and the other Democratic lawmakers get a free "get-out-of-jail" card from the political beatings. The critics of the protesters -- those who want to sustain the current status quo of government-controlled, government-regulated, government-coddled, and government-subsidized health care (although currently it's a corporatized system) and want to extend it further -- are out of line because of their pathetically and ludicrously smug and arrogant sandbagging and smearing of the citizens who oppose the so-called reform bill. As Sheldon Richman recently and correctly opined in his Anything Peaceful blog post (which inspired this blog post about the matter):
Why would anyone have confidence in an 1,000-page-plus piece of legislation, obscurely written, that would give not-fully-defined powers to the secretary of Health and Human Services?
Why should anyone trust these thugs? What have Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Henry Waxman, and the entire U.S. House of Representatives (except for Ron Paul) and the U.S. Senate done for us lately (other than destroying our liberties behind our backs) and for our freedoms (they couldn't careless about them)? What makes them so special and unique? What, is it because they've got cute-and-cuddly legislative powers and we don't? How can they be representing us when they are only representing their special interests (particularly the ones who crafted the health care plan, despite what Congressman John Dingell of Michigan says; he only sponsored it and not wrote it)?
Sorry, but any attempt to dignify what these collectivistic crooks do with our stolen goods (in other words, our hard-earned money) need to look in the mirror and take a long look. Let's not forget that this oppressive and vile statist government to which we are subjected did not start with Obama.
Those who are ecstatic about the bill (like my socialistic Democratic brother Brian, for example) need to get their heads out of their behinds.
[Cross-posted at The Freeman Chronicles and The Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity website.]