That's one of my favorite scenes from a great film, The Apostle. The scene climaxes with this line.
and the eleventh commandment, thou shalt not shout...does not exist
There's been plenty of chatter about the town hall confrontations. Many so called intellectual pundits have proclaimed that the folks at these town hall debates need to behave themselves better. Those include conservatives like Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer. I've even hinted that they should behave more civilly. Yet, I've come to the realization that civility and Demcracy are not two peas and a pod. Sure, in a perfect world, we'd like people to come to a town hall and act civilly. This is not a perfect world. The people at town halls are not slick politicians, diplomats, and executives. They are simply voters with a lot on their mind. This is probably the first time they've come this close to their elected official. They're certainly nervous, angry, and even scared. Town halls are the perfect extension of our democracy, and yet, democracy was never meant to be civil. I doubt very much that the Constitutional convention was full of the founding fathers speaking softly, quietly and civilly to each other. So, to all those that claim that the attendees need to behave better I say
the eleventh commandment thou shalt not shout...does not exist
I believe that what we are witnessing is the 21st century citizen revolt. So, to all those that think the town halls are not civil enough keep in mind how most revolutions ended. Many revolutions ended with the leader's heads winding up on platters. In this revolution, the heads are only winding up on platters figuratively not literally. Arlen Specter, John Dingell, and Claire McCaskill are just some of the politicians that have been dressed down by their voters.
What we're witnessing at these town halls is the total rejection of our government. Now, to all those that proclaim that none of this happened under the Republicans, it did. The Republicans got voted out of office. The Democrats promised better and they've delivered even worse. So, the voters aren't waiting until the next election to revolt. They are revolting right now.
They frankly had it with both parties. They've had it with the whole thing and they aren't going to stop until there's a wholesale change in the manner of governance. These town hall confrontations started as anger over health care. They have evolved int anger over and entire domestic agenda. They are now growing into a full 21st century citizen revolt. The people want their government back and they're going to get into the face of their politicians until their message is clear.