Luckily for me, but not so much for my sad little weblog here, I have been been working on some things for sites that are not my own. However, I thought I would take a few minutes to write my impressions of the unrest and the seemingly spontaneous, disruptive shouting matches that have been on the lips and attention spans of average Americans during the same week that the the GLOBAL War on TERROR met a quiet demise and the Pentagon's position that global warming is a very real and potential threat to the security of the homeland and the world-at-large. For once, I am not blaming the media – although without questions these two happenings should have been much larger stories – the scenes from the town halls are illuminating and a systemic problem of the way America works today has been given center stage.
Polite conversationalists tend to eschew topics such as politics and religion. With regard to religion, I do not feel that discussions and questions about Religion should be taboo, but I can understand why it can be seen as a personal and off-limits to casual discussion. However, when it comes to politics, we should discuss these matters often. Even when civics was taught in every classroom across the nation, a lot of the country does not even understand how our government works. They believe that it is and should be withing the power of the president to “fix the economy” or “make pot/gay marriage/et. al legal.” Sarah Palin herself believe that the Vice President was “in charge” of the Senate. If we don't talk about these issues we'll soon be living in an Orwellian nightmare.
Sure, everyone has their own viewpoints and their own beliefs and are entitled to them. Yet we should not believe so strongly in anything that an opposing argument is seen as heretical. Nonsense will come and an educated and informed public can be trusted to discount these occurrences instead of allowing them to become the foundation of their own ideology. I am certain that some even believe one thing, but do another simply because the courage of their convictions or fear of political damage outweighs the importance of remaining authentically oneself. Yet, when these are distorted half-truths to begin with and are spread about the majority of the ignorant populace, the rage builds and the truth remains hidden because these folks are far too polite to discuss such matters, unless they are certain they are around like-minded people.
When did we become such pussies? So what if a few words or ideas that you may not like are said aloud in your presence? Does this give one the right to become hysterical, unreasonable, or plainly discourteous? I think not. I am an outspoken, almost extreme, supporter of the first amendment. These people have the right to do what they are doing, however I do believe that just because one can do something does not mean that one should. I feel that the lack of plain speech and clear, concise answers from the politicians could be why these folks become so wracked with emotion that they lose the capacity for good sense and manners. Yet, it is these type of reactions that lead politicians to fear that a plain answer would anger the wrong people, or worse, alienate voters. It is a snake eating its own tail and determined to finish, despite the fact that it has no plan to devour its own mouth.
Because these folks trust the wrong outlets for their information, there are those that believe a foreign-born, illegal President is dismantling the constitution with his opposable thumbs, the only feature he shares with these people who just couldn't put into words why they didn't like him. Shouts of “I want my country back!” take on a whole different meaning if one considers that perhaps the American citizen is not as “post-racial” as we were led to believe. For those that hold up the photos of Obama yukking it up with Hitler or sporting a moustache himself, I feel that in this analogy the Jews are these angry white Americans that are having a harder time with this historic presidency than they may even admit to themselves. Purely speculation, but like GWB before me it feels right in my decider-gut.
The main problem is that people who are yelling are indicating that they will not even allow you to make a counterpoint in case it accidentally makes sense. These folks are ranting and raving and punishing their legislators for daring to try and talk to them in-person and take their specific questions. How long before the legislators just say “the hell with it,” and we are removed from the discussion all together? I feel that there are important discussions that are not being had thanks to this chest-thumping, teary-eyed bullshit regurgitation of nonsense that make up majority of these “informed” citizen's tirades. Ideas of how to limit the use of prescription drugs, focus on wellness and prevention, and that if given the option the majority of costly uninsured patients' treatments would have been easily fought if they hadn't had to wait until the malady became catastrophic. Talk of the national sacrifice that will be needed to pay for this, repair the system and ourselves should be sober, frank, and politely debated – not held stagnant by those spouting arguments gleaned almost verbatim from a Fox News chyron. The American people need to get their collective shit together: read, discuss, understand, and be prepared to listen. There is no need to get all worked up and behave like those in the videos on the news and internet. The stress alone will kill you.