Normally, I only link to articles that I (for the most part) agree with. But Peggy Noonan published an WSJ op-ed which gives a great view of the facts of the health care nationalization debate – though I very much disagree with the assessment of those facts.
What has been most unsettling is not the congressmen’s surprise but a hard new tone that emerged this week. The leftosphere and the liberal commentariat charged that the town hall meetings weren’t authentic, the crowds were ginned up by insurance companies, lobbyists and the Republican National Committee. But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion. And what tends to agitate people most is the idea of loss—loss of money hard earned, loss of autonomy, loss of the few things that work in a great sweeping away of those that don’t.
People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.
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.
…the health-care protesters have to make sure they don’t get too hot, or get out of hand. They haven’t so far, they’ve been burly and full of debate, with plenty of booing. This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp. But every day the meetings seem just a little angrier, and people who are afraid—who have been made afraid, and left to be afraid—can get swept up. As this column is written, there comes word that John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO has announced he’ll be sending in union members to the meetings to counter health care’s critics.Somehow that doesn’t sound like a peace initiative.
It’s going to be a long August, isn’t it? Let’s hope the uncharted territory we’re in doesn’t turn dark.
To me, this seems like the wrong time to be admonishing opponents of health care nationalization to show restraint. So far, there have been no reports of violence, yet we have union members being sent in to “counter” the critics? Sounds like an intimidation tactic to me. To be clear, I’m not advocating violence or obscenity or anything of the like. But let’s not all rush to the sinking side of the boat. The group that needs to be restrained is our socialist Congress and (what appear to be) their thugs. At this point, raising our voices and standing firm against socialized medicine is not just overdue, it’s a moral imperative.
The United States of America is transitioning from a republic to an aristocracy. In a letter to John Adams, Thomas Jefferson once said:
I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
The modern aristrocracy that is forming is not based on virtue or talent. It is an aristocracy of political pull, clout, power – in short, it is an aristocracy of force. The U.S. fought a civil war to purge from itself the last vestiges of fuedalism and aristocracy. It would be a disgrace to return to rule by the few, with a gun as their final argument.