Saturday, August 08, 2009

Free Speech and Health Care (or 'Community Organizing' for the Rest of Us)

What happens when those who think they are so 'enlightened' that they think they should impose their utopian fantasies on the rest of us are challenged by a peaceful popular uprising in communities around the country? Well, citizens who oppose the thousand plus page 'health care' plan that threatens the lives of the unborn and the elderly and the quality of care for everyone in between have been labeled an "angry mob" by the powers that be. So far, it seems violence has only occurred when goon squads show up to counter the citizen protesters.

Peggy Noonan writes that suddenly President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are looking "desperate".
We have entered uncharted territory in the fight over national health care. There’s a new tone in the debate, and it’s ugly. At the moment the Democrats are looking like something they haven’t looked like in years, and that is: desperate.


What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of "carrying swastikas and symbols like that." (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a "no" slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis.


All of this is unnecessarily and unhelpfully divisive and provocative. They are mocking and menacing concerned citizens. This only makes a hot situation hotter. Is this what the president wants? It couldn’t be. But then in an odd way he sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan "extremists" and "right wing," or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.

Robert Hahn, writing at RedState, points out the disconnect between those in power and those they are trying to marginalize.
Many Democrats, including many editors and reporters, have come to believe that hundreds of middle-aged and older people - people with incomes and lives, and plenty else to do - have taken part-time jobs as rent-a-mobs to shill for insurance companies, or the RNC, or somebody. They think this because that is how Democrats create similar events: they pay college students or homeless people to show up at a certain place at a certain time to wave signs and put on a display for their fellow Democrats in the media, who dutifully report that the citizenry is outraged at whatever the Democrats paid them to be outraged about.

Causing the same sort of outcome among conservatives is more like herding cats. Few conservatives need your money, at least not the sort of pittance that would motivate a student or a street person. Most of them would be insulted if you offered. Having tried to organize many of these things myself, I can tell you that if conservatives care about a cause, they will show up in their own car with their own sign ready to give ‘em Hell. If they don’t care about the cause, nothing is going to get them away from their quite rewarding lives.

Let's pray that cooler heads prevail and that these confrontations don't result in a new wave of violence in our nation.

Speaking of health care, one good way to counter the dangerous fantasy that they're trying to impose on us is to present a sensible alternative like that proposed by Charles Krauthammer.
The plan is so simple it doesn't even have the requisite three parts. Just two: radical tort reform and radically severing the link between health insurance and employment.

Another way is through humor, like this ditty that borrows from a popular holiday favorite. (Hint: this time what grandma gets hit by is not a reindeer.) (Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt.)

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