I attended a town hall meeting last night. A majority of the people who attended and almost everyone who spoke was a right-wing extremist. The people booed when the Democratic Congressman walked in. They interrupted him and shouted a number of times. The format of the meeting was to allow audience members to express their opinions and ask questions. Every one of the participants who spoke took their style from the same play book. They were loud, angry and confrontational. They acted very much the Nazi and KKK at their hate meetings.
Town hall meetings, at least to discuss health care reform have devolved into a showcase for far-right wing-nuts who are groupies for conservative talk shows hosted by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and their local counterparts. These people almost look mentally unhinged. The meetings no longer represent all points of view. These people were intent on intimidating legitimate people who thought about the issues and wanted to make a contribution to the discussion. However, almost everyone stayed home because these meeting have become so unfriendly - hostile is a better word. Even normal people who consider themselves conservatives and Republicans stayed away. There were no polite questions, spoken in a thoughtful respectful way. It was much more like a collection of thugs and bullies who went there to vent their anger and to act-out a performance for themselves, the Congressman, and the cameras.
What has this accomplished? The conservative extremists have outlined a scary portrait of themselves for the American people. Their behavior has been on local TV every time there is a meeting, and it looks offensive. These people look deranged. I have to believe that most people are not swayed into opposing affordable health insurance, health care reform, and an option for public health insurance because a bunch of crazies shouted, waved signs and acted boorish at town hall meetings. The opposite has happened. The public has been repulsed by these people. The thought that our futures will be decided by a bunch of loonies has motivated people to push harder for good, to create a good bill that reforms health insurance. The fact that the insurance companies have motivated and funded a lot of these crazies casts them in a bad light. As a result, Congress is casting a cold hard look at them for what they did, what they have become, and what they have done to the American people.
Congress will not be intimidated by mafia-type thugs. Congress is full of hard-nosed people who have guts, integrity and motivation to do the right thing for America. They are going to go all out to create regulations that stop the current abuses of the insurance companies. They are going to create a basic plan for an option for affordable health insurance for those who can't afford health insurance. In other words, our Congressmen represent all of us, you and me, the sane people, all of the people of the United Sates. And they will do the right thing for us.