I’ve been watching all of the coverage (admittedly liberal coverage) of the town hall protests. I get the facts behind these attempts at squelching any kind of conversation. But what I want to know is exactly what are the protestors protesting against?
I’ve heard lots of crazy claims of forced euthanasia, long waiting lines, losing your current insurance… all of which can be debunked if carefully addressed.
But what is getting you average conservative off his or her ass and into those meetings? What are they there to protest? Socialized medicine? So do they, then, by definition denounce and refuse to accept medicare/medicaid?
What are they being told on the websites? How are they being directed to the websites? What are they being told and why won’t they seemingly listen to clear and logical rebukes of the falsehoods they have been told and believe?
Here’s my problem with the coverage of these so far. Yes, there are large corporations at work, financing these groups and making them angry… but why are they so easy to anger? Why are they allowing themselves to be spoonfed such lies?
Glossing over the fact that no matter the origin, lots of american citizens are showing up and yelling these protests and truly believe they are on the right side. These are real people. This is a real problem. And the media’s coverage of it worries me because it’s become totally dismissive of the citizens that have been riled into action (right or wrong, misinformed as they may be…)…. I’m no genius or academic in social behavior, but it seems like making fun of them and calling them stupid is just going to make them more angry… and they obviously don’t need a lot of prodding there.
I’m not defending people who act ignorantly and blindly and I’m certainly not defending the people who may be acting on overt racism or classism or even a simple “I’ve got mine so screw you” mentality… But I think the first step in figuring out how to reconcile all of this is to try to understand what’s behind the academic. The emotion. The fear. The anxiety. The willingness to believe without seeking facts or figures to support those beliefs. The willingness to blanketly refuse to even listen to facts and figures that blatantly disprove those beliefs.
The democrats may be able to ram health reform down the country’s throat… (though I doubt it… last time I checked, they needed to grow a pair…), but even if they are successful at getting it passed… at what cost? Further alienating people who feel alienated to begin with… further angering people who are angry by dismissing them as ignorant, racist pawns… (even if it carries a sad element of truth.)
I guess all I’m asking is what is their protest all about. What are they protesting? What is bringing all of these people together to these meetings in a frenzy of fear and making them turn a deaf ear to any rational explanations? What’s the common ground they share? How are they being targeted? What are they seeking out that they are finding these websites and plans for how to shut down a town hall meeting?
Is it really as simple as they don’t want Obama to succeed. at anything.? Is that more important than our national health care crisis?
That’s what I’d like to hear more about.