Saturday, August 8, 2009

Why Can't We Debate Health Care in a Civilized Fashion?

Why, in the greatest democracy in the free world, can't we have a civilized, intelligent discussion of a very important national issue?

There have been reports of disruptions of town hall forums on the topic of health care reform. The disruptors shout down any discussion that is attempted. These demonstrations have been focused on Democrat Congressmen, particularly those supportive of reforms.

Accompanying this school-yard type bullying are the propagation of misleading information and outright lies about proposed changes. For example, some false rumors say you can't keep your existing private insurance or that the proposal is a single payer system (whereas it's a government alternative to private insurance). Today, President Obama spoke out about this misinformation.

Perhaps worse is the rhetoric of Rush Linbaugh and his ilk, comparing the proposed changes to Nazi programs, even comparing the logo for the proposed health program to the Nazi swastika. Rachel Maddow recently reported on these outrageous comparisons.

But isn't it ironic that Rush Linbaugh and others are labeling the Obama health care proposals as "Nazi" inspired while supporting this "mob rule" tactic of shouting down all civilized discussion. But, which is the really fascist tactic? Obama proposing a program that will be debated in Congress and throughout the country --- or, protestors shouting down any discussion of the issue? Add to that the death and other violent threats against Congressmen. As a result, some of these representatives are canceling public appearances to discuss health care.

What happened to democracy, where all sides are free to make known their opinions on current events? Why do these protestors prevent other citizens from exercising their democratic rights to debate this issue? Oppression of the practice of democracy sounds like fascism!

If the opponents of Obama's program have good points to make, why can't they present them to the nation in a civilized manner? If they have important facts and strong arguments, why do they resort to schoolyard tactics of intimidation and bullying?

So, again I say why, in the greatest democracy in the free world, can't we have a civilized, intelligent discussion of this very important national issue?

We have to say NO! to the bullies shouting down discussion at town hall meetings!

We have to say NO! to those knowingly propagating outlandish false claims!

We have to say NO! to schoolyard antics of shouting down anyone who doesn't agree with you!

We have to say YES! to acting like adults and having a lively debate about the real issues.

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