Healthy debate is what America is all about. But the ugly, undemocratic behavior by a few Americans in health care town hall meetings is making me sick.
Democratic Congressman Brad Miller of North Carolina, who supports health care reform, even received a death threat last week. How's that for a little irony? A guy wants to make sure Americans receive better health care so they can live a longer, healthier life. And someone threatens to kill him for that.
Town hall meetings serve the valuable and democratic purpose of giving Americans the chance to ask their representatives any question they might have about the life and death issue of health care. Maybe they should have posted a few rules online first.
- When you ask your question, give your representative a chance to answer the question, without shouting them down and yelling at them.
- Let other Americans ask a question too, without shouting them down and yelling at them.
- Don't repeat verbatim the words that conservative special interest groups are telling you to say. Change the words around a little. If you say, "I don't want a government bureaucrat coming between the doctor-patient relationship", people are going to know you didn't come up with that on your own.
- Don't believe every health care email you read. Some can be pretty bogus. I got one that was filled with misleading information. I think it was written by the same Nigerian prince that claims you have 800 million dollars waiting for you in the bank.
I can understand if Americans don't know what a town hall meeting is all about. Remember all those town hall meetings during the runup to the Iraq war? Oh that's right. There weren't any. How about all those town hall meetings about the Bush-Cheney energy plan? Oh, yeah-there weren't any then either. In fact, Cheney kept all of the meetings about the energy bill secret. Now that's democracy in action!
Maybe we need something like the "Beer Summit" to resolve this issue in a calm, reasonable manner. But since beer isn't the greatest thing for your health, we need another form of liquid nourishment.
The Intravenous Summit?
If we could all just take a deep breath, calm down, and act like people who love democracy and freedom of speech for all, we might actually be able to come up with a health care plan that most Americans could feel good about.
Now that would be something to shout about!
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