Lately detractors in the Health Care reform debate have become more vocal in sharing their opinion. Every cable news show is running clips from town hall meetings across the country using clips to frame the debate as they want it to be seen. Television can edit the protesters to seem sensible or crazy depending on what clip they use. The question is, does this vocal minority detract from the Republican debate and hurt the Republican reform message?
If I truly believed that the protests were spontaneous, I would probably think this was a good thing for the Republican Party. And while some may be there to truly voice their opinion, the ones that make it to into the mainstream media or on YouTube seem to be staged or over-the-top outrageous. Spreading across the liberal websites is a leaked memo from FreedomWorks explaining how to strategically disrupt a town hall meeting. While I dont disagree with the tactics (I mean, really they are straight from the “Bush is a war criminal” liberal manifesto), I think most Americans by knowing this tune out the facts and begin to create their opinions on the semantics of the argument. In other words – No one wants to be associated with the crazy guy.
Here is one raw video from a recent Pennslyvania town hall. You can find many more examples on Youtube to show the atmosphere at many of these events (Ironically enough, the ones with cameras around…hmmm…)
The citizen asks a thoughtful question and the audience responds with cheering – great so far. Then Kathleen Sebilius begins to answer the question that she was never a member of Congress, and the crowd boos. Boos? Why? Then, when Arlen Specter speaks, they are talking over him most of the time. Although I do think they rightfully booed when he said they needed to “do this fast”.
This is not an intelligent debate. If you dont listen to the opposition, you look foolish and then whatever you have to say loses its value. I feel strongly enough that the facts can lead to the correct solution on Health Care. These town hall detractors drowned that message with childish displays of protesting.