A WORD ABOUT THE TOWN HALL PROTESTS

Dy’er Sez: Lately there have been quite a lot of news reports and Youtube videos which show American citizens loudly disrupting congress-critter’s town hall meetings in various districts across the country. Lately, as I keep CNN on in the background while I do other things, the so-called news media has done what they can to marginalize these voices and turn the cries of outrage into partisan politics, a republican conspiracy, or a movement based on racism.

Let me reiterate that I am not a republican (or a democrat, for that matter), so I take no sides in partisan silliness and finger pointing…it’s childish and simply distracts from the real issues that we should all be paying attention to. But some of the commentary that has come out, both from members of the government as well as the TV news media, lead me to believe that either they are totally out of touch (both with what’s going on with the ‘man on the street’ and with exactly what their job is supposed to be) with the pulse of America or that there is a concerted effort to marginalize exactly what is going on below the surface of these town hall meetings.

There has been a lot of noise coming from Democrat office holders as to what they think these loud protests are all about. Harry Reid proclaimed that these protestors were trying to sabotage the democratic process (I thought voicing one’s opinion to one’s supposed representative WAS part of the democratic process).  Brian Baird claims that these people showing up at his town hall meetings are extremists and are using Nazi tactics to get their point across (really, Mr. Baird? Voicing one’s opinion is Nazi tactics, but the President putting out an open call to report to the government any who have contrary views on his heath care bill isn’t? Shame on you, you corrupt, misguided sub-man.).

The most egregious comment came from Nancy Pelosi, who claimed that the protestors were carrying swastikas. I haven’t seen one shred of evidence to support that claim (and neither has she), and even if there WAS someone stupid enough to do that, does that mean that he had anything to do with anyone else at the protest? This type of simple-minded comment is usually heard from the likes of partisan hacks (like Limbaugh, Coulter, et al); to hear this sort of clap-trap coming from the mouth of an elected official makes me wonder just how bright some of these folks are…or if they are simply using back-handed generalizations and smear tactics in order to get their way, much like a 3rd grader in a school yard uses name calling. Either way, it’s pathetic.

Let’s not forget that the rallying cry of the Bush administration post 9/11 was, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”. I don’t see how the garbage spewed forth from the mouths of politicos from the blue side of the aisle is any different…or any less dangerous to our republic.

One would think that the TV news media would do a little bit of investigative journalism to bring us a better view of what’s going on(perhaps they weren’t able to do so…after all, didn’t Twitter go off-line for a few hours during the protests?). But all I hear is blind adherence to the partisan stance to marginalize the protestors. I would have been easy to interview a protestor or ten, find out why they were angry, and perhaps find out their political affiliation. Instead, they followed the parameters of the false left-right paradigm which draws the line between issues along party lines (the worst that I saw was Rick Sanchez on CNN, who spent hours making clear that the protests were nothing more that out-of-control-right-wingers, that the movement was directed by republican operatives and not a grass roots movement, and that he was clearly against the protestors. Personal aside to Mr. Sanchez: you are a simple man who looks good in front of a camera; don’t try to be a journalist or a commentator – you have neither the wit nor mind to be either.)

There were major protests during the Bush administration, and now there are more during the Obama administration. But now, instead of thousands of people showing up someplace to be crowded into ‘free speech zones’ and the beaten by police and arrested, citizens have taken it upon themselves to confront directly the representatives who have been ignoring them for years.  People are fed up and angry that the things that they have been promised by the politicos are never accomplished, and that their voice is pushed more and more to the back of the room. People are RIGHTFULLY angry, and are using this issue to let the politicians know that we have all been pushed a little too far by their corruption, power grabs, and whittling away of our constitutional rights.

 Perhaps those in office need to listen to these voices instead of demonizing them; after all they are supposed to be our representatives NOT our deciders.

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This entry was posted in Civil liberties/rights, Commentary, Free Speech, Government, Media, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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