There is a startling degree of anger in America right now. Pick an issue and you'll find people of all political persuasions yelling about it. But it remains primarily those on the far right that couch their vitriol in what the historian Richard Hofstadter referred to as the "paranoid style."
As we had our holiday dinner together, my kids asked me why billions can be spent on an expanding war, bailing out the auto industry and the banks, but when it comes to health care, people are afraid of a "government takeover."
What we're seeing from the health care town halls and what we've seen from the "birthers" is essentially what I call the Tyranny of the Tantrum, which many parents encounter during the "terrible twos."
My grandmother was one of the first people a pacemaker was used on. A lot of very sincere people believe that if Obama's health care reform bill passes, old people will essentially be facing death panels and denied care.