If you’ve been anywhere near a TV or newspaper or online discussion forum, you’ve been witness to perhaps the most childish, boorish, inane, insane behavior this side of reality TV. Oh, I forgot, it IS reality TV. This isn’t “Survivor” or “Big Brother” - it’s our very own town hall meetings, and Congress, and countless self-proclaimed “mavericks” and “patriots” espousing words of wisdom on cable TV. We’ve all seen or heard it lately … “death panels” (a classic Palin-ism there) … carrying an assault rifle to a town meeting because you have the “right” to bear arms … not sending your kids to school because the President has a “socialist agenda” for them (when he tells them to "stay in school”, “pay attention” and “listen to your parents”) … the sign at a town hall that stated “Bury Obama Care With Kennedy” … or how about comparing the President to … Hitler? Ahhh the irony on that one.
This has all become ridiculous. Stupid. Tasteless. Classless. And, in my eyes, terribly un-American. Since when have these behaviors become acceptable?
If I didn’t know better, I would think that all of this starts to look like the fall of the Roman empire. We are now a country in denial. And despair. And fear.
We are fighting not just one, but two wars – in Iraq and Afghanistan. The former was sold to us on what we have now found to be were, yes, blatant lies. Documented data. And the latter – well, just ask the Soviet Union what the battle toll will look like, and then take a moment to ponder the enemy that seems to change and morph right before our very eyes. If I didn’t know better, I would say that we’ve seen this before in our own history – sadly. Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel wrote a tremendous piece on this in the Washington Post. We’ve lost 4,300 American lives, and we’ve accrued a national debt of over one trillion dollars on both of these wars, and it is growing. More documented data.
Speaking of a trillion dollars (and growing), where were the “fiscally responsible” Republicans when this spending was approved? These are the same people that are decrying a $900 billion health care reform that is spread over 10 years and, imagine this, helps our very own citizens. Daily. It’s not invested in rebuilding “democracy” worldwide – it could be invested in helping our very own, in our own backyard. A trillion dollars would have paid the bill for universal health care, but, I digress.
I read this week how someone at a town hall meeting said that “health care is not listed anywhere in the Constitution”. The constitution does not provide you with the unalienable right to be an idiot either. Just because you have the “right” to do something, doesn’t mean it’s responsible or prudent. Yes, you have the “right to bear arms” at a town hall meeting. But – you also have the responsibility to realize that it’s probably not the best place to instill even more fear.
And just because something isn’t a “right” doesn’t mean we can’t get behind something we all believe in. And are prepared to vote for in a democratic process.
And speaking of being prudent or responsible, how about Rep. Joe Wilson, an elected official, blaring “You Lie” to the President? That was a first. Did that ever happen to Johnson during the Vietnam War? How about Nixon during Watergate? Or even Bush during Iraq?
Apparently, acceptable behavior has changed. People have become disrespectful, argumentative. They go to town hall meetings not to debate and discuss, but to scream at each other. People have become spoiled first-graders with a temper tantrum. They go to hear themselves talk – or better yet, complain. As many have said before me, “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”. This is the definition of town hall meetings anymore.
Hatred and fear are getting the better of us. And if we don’t stop to take note and do something about it, it’s going to get worse.
Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graces right now. I cannot imagine that they had envisioned the disrespect for the office of the President. Or the disrespect for your fellow man/woman.
Rational minds must prevail in this time of great national challenge. Let the voice of reason speak. Stop the arguing and the bickering. Stop the yelling - Republican and Democrat. This is about people, not about parties. Stop the idiotic behavior that has become the standard for “discussion” these days. And remember, if you are not contributing to a solution, then you are part of the problem.
And right now, we need solutions, and certainly not more problems. And that starts with each and every one of us.