TOWN HALL MEETINGS AWAKEN A SLEEPING GIANT
‘I’m as Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Gonna Take This Anymore!’ This sentiment is being voiced by large numbers of protesters turning out for health care town hall meetings around the country. People are angry and frightened by the prospect of government running their health care system, but their anger goes far beyond the 1000 page health bill. Health care reform is the spark that has touched off a forest fire of grassroots rebellion among a people who believe their representatives do not represent them, do not listen to them and do not care what they think. Many Americans feel that they are losing control of their financial well being, their values and their culture. Shell shock has resulted as they try to absorb the rapidity of drastic change.
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The first stirring of protest came with the Tea Parties in the spring. These were completely misread by the media that both ignored them and dismissed the attendees as right wing kooks. The tea parties were about taxes, yes. But far more they were about the rapid intrusion of the federal government into private affairs, about deficit spending, and a growing understanding that America was heading down a very dangerous road to socialism. People see a government in Washington that is in the process of destroying the constitutional principles of limiting government and maximizing personal freedom that made America the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever known.
For many, it has been unnerving to see the federal government take unprecedented control of the banking industry, become the major shareholder of Chrylser and GM, and fire the CEO of General Motors. It is frightening to see the creation of staggering deficits that will lead to hyperinflation or will break the back of future generations. Anger also focuses on the failure of government to perform its fundamental responsibility of protecting America as it fails to protect our borders and weakens our national defenses.
The Tea Parties demonstrated that Americans were beginning to stir. But when a government that wants to run major industries, control our financial system and set draconian new rules regarding energy production, put forth 1000 pages of indecipherable gobbledygook to take control of health care as well, it was a bridge too far.
Americans want the right to make their own choices about how they live and are not about to turn life and death decisions over to an army of social engineers and faceless bureaucrats without a fight. A feeling of helplessness had taken root in many quarters but suddenly health care town hall meetings awakened a sleeping giant.
Once again the media has misread the demonstrations and has joined the Democrat choir in branding angry Americans as organized mobs and far worse. If elected officials continue to attack their constituents or ignore those they represent. If they continue to give misleading answers to people who have actually read provisions in the bill. If they refuse to be straight about whether they are covering illegal immigrants, paying for abortions, or putting themselves into the plan that Joe the Plumber has to take, the anger will only grow.