Let’s just say that this is no way for a civilized Republic to conduct its business. And there’s no small irony that the protestor in St. Louis is carrying a sign mocking the fact that Paul Krugman and others have dubbed these people an angry mob. What the hell else would you call them?
On the merits, I share my colleague Alex Knapp’s sense that “On the one hand, the system we have sucks and there’s really no defending it. On the other hand, most of the reform proposals also suck.” I come down on the side that the crappy status quo is better than the crappy alternatives and Alex sides with the crappy alternatives to the crappy status quo.
Regardless, however, we should be able to agree that shutting down public debate on the matter in the guise of “being heard” is not only unproductive but un-American.
You bet your ass I blame people for shouting down and trying to intimidate their political opponents. We were given a brain at birth capable of reason and logic. We are not beasts who are unable to control our emotions. We were born in a country where only by civil debate and reasoned discourse have we been able to maintain our unity in the face of towering obstacles. Citizens coming from a hundred different backgrounds as well as representing every race, every creed, every ethnic group in the world do not naturally mix and form a society. We have to work at it. And that means governing our passions so that all may participate in the democratic process equally.
When we don’t – when we give in to these beastly impulses – we get 600,000 dead and one part of the country in ruins. Ultimately, the Civil War was as much about our failure to believe in the good intentions of our political opponents as it was about the union, or slavery. War is never “inevitable.” Losing faith in each other was what led to the explosion.
To give in to the desire to express anger while preventing others from making their views known demonstrates an adolescent level of emotional maturity.
Moreoever, as Rick points out, the latest Rasmussen poll shows a statistically significant up-tick in Obama’s “strongly approve” number over the past week; a possible indication that people who’ve been sitting on the fence are being turned off by the immaturity of Obama’s opponents.
This battle isn’t going to be won by lying to people about euthanasia or screaming at Congressmen. It’s going to be won be convincing the American people that freedom works. Get to it.