Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Goodbye to Town Hall Meetings from Hell

The summer of ‘09 was one of more than a little discontent.
Americans began to behave badly in a frenzy of misplaced
anger at those not necessarily at fault for their unhappiness.
But who cared? It was not a time for making nice–nor would
it be, for months to come.

Okay, the politically unwashed of our great nation have had their fifteen minutes of fame, yelling and screaming at (s)elected leaders. Barney Frank’s response to the misguided soul who clutched a Hitler-ized picture of Obama, was a welcome rejoinder. Barney may be gay, but he’s no wimp, and senatorial he-man John McCain took note and ejected another Screaming Mimi from his meeting in Phoenix. Folks from Maine clearly get better upbringing at home, given the civility granted to Sen. Olympia Snow.

Around the nation, polls have long showed displeasure with health care and with end-of-life circumstances that threaten to bankrupt their families. “Do something!” they barked, but when someone tried, right wing radio fed them select lines from The Nutcase Handbook for Mayhem and Disorder. God knows the naive populace couldn’t come up with such words and phrases on their own; they’re actually mad about a lot of other things but their rage has been successfully redirected from the guy who really hurt them for eight years to the one who’s been in office, um, barely seven months.

These are the same folks who don’t bother to read a damn book once in a while, wherein facts are marshaled both in order and in perspective, relying instead on bloggers of low mentality. After all, America is a nation of universal Attention Deficit Disorder, unable to read past one page of print without a headlong dash of avoidance for beer or chocolate.

Herewith then a bit of said perspective: even Teddy Roosevelt, the big trust buster who kicked ass and took names, took a stab at health care reform with no success, so we know right away that many people have a gene resistant to such relief. Truman tried again after World War II but some yahoo innocently stumbled on the word “socialization” as a descriptive, and Commie-baiter-in-Chief Sen. Joe McCarthy warned that Stalin and the USSR were coming to get us.

In time, LBJ actually delivered Medicare and folks loved it–imagine that. But the political right wing, who cling to idiocy like a crucifix, have demonized the word “socialism” as a way to stop just short of calling liberalism “communism.” This has worked right up to now and, adding to the confusion, they can always find a crank in Canada or Europe who’s unhappy with life in general and willing to say their health care is a mess. FauX News is a big fan of these miscreants and from their rolodex pull names for newscast interviews. At this point, Jesus Christ could descend from heaven with a health care plan and they would question his birth certificate and call him a Muslim and a liar.

The fact is, single payers and public options do work; and insurance companies in other countries are non-profit and on the same page, hence paperwork, unlike here, is not costly and time-consuming; and insurance is nothing like that forced on American physicians. It should be added that their doctors have sharply fewer expectations than ours in terms of compensation. Further, all medical care is “rationed,” everywhere in the world–it’s just that ours is on the backs of the uninsured and those at end-of- life.

True, bills in Washington are long and complex, but that has been the nature of all legislation since five years before God. But when town hall meetings go from that concern to Hitler-pix and cries of “why don’t we just slow down with this plan,” and “please give me back the country that was created by Jefferson” (another liberal, by the way), you know something’s rotten here, not in Denmark.

First of all, these are the folks who are still mad about the election of Obama; second, why should we “slow down” when the cry long has been to give us health care reform “now!”? And if ever we needed proof that this nation of immigrants doesn’t like more of them, this is it.

Health care reform, something we need most, is temporarily held hostage by red herring complaints. Now that we’ve all had a good look at the town hall thugs, and heard them enough to make us want to puke, it’s time to seize the cure and move on towards a greater America.

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