As a follow-up to this post, can we clear some stuff up?
Some of the many criticisms of town-hall goers I have read and heard over the last few days:
1. Protestors are interrupting and shutting down senators and others attempting to speak.
My reaction: Bad form. Using your right to free speech to impeded the rights of another is not okay.
2. Protestors and mindless drones, parroting what talk radio pundits feed them and acting only because Rush told them to.
My reaction: This is a tough one. Are there people who are easily influenced by high-profile individuals? You bet. Are there people upset only because the radio told them to be? Yep. But are there people who honestly disagree with what is going on and want to make their voices heard? Yes. I think this argument is used because for people who lean left, it's less scary than believing that there are a lot of people who really are against the direction we're going with healthcare.
3. Glenn Beck and others of his ilk are instructing their drones on how to interrupt and shout down those in opposition to them at town hall meetings.
My reaction: I have yet to find a link that shows this, and considering it was either on TV or on the radio, there has to be a digital record of it somewhere. Until I find some proof, I'm chalking this up to fabrication. I have heard Beck encourage people to attend these meetings and make their voices heard, but he has not advocated for violence or other unproductive methods for doing so.
4. The protestors at town hall meetings are "un-American."
My reaction: Were these people out of the country for the last eight years? Bush's presidency generated quite a bit of protest from the left, and no one from the Washington Post decried them as un-American then.
This is the typical "party out of office is unhappy and mounts protests" thing we see after every power shift in Washington. Liberals did it then, conservatives are doing it now, and if a conservative wins the 2012 election, the liberals will get their protesting kits out of their closets and return to the streets.
If you support the healthcare reform intiatives and are unhappy with the acts of these protestors, get out and counteract them. Attend the town hall meetings and make your voice heard. Paint your own posters. Legally and respectfully show that there are people who are okay with what President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are doing here.
Because as it stands, only those questioning this reform are getting the coverage.