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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tracing the Roots Of Anger, Frustration, and Shout Downs At Town Halls

From the beginning, Democrats needed to come up with a viable explanation for the anger and frustration exhibited at town halls. That's because if that outrage was rooted in down right disapproval for their health care bill that would indicate a wholesale rejection of the bill in general. So, immediately, this was called a "mob". It was insinuated that nefarious forces were behind the demonstrations. On top of this, people claimed that the protesters were acting with poor manners. Instead, they should ask their questions quietly so that everyone has a chance to ask a question, it was inferred. The town halls were turned into a mob instead of a polite meeting it was said.

Here's why the town hall protesters shouted down their politicians. No one likes to be propagandized. They don't want to be used as props for talking points. People come to town halls to ask questions and get honest answers. Politicians rarely give honest answers. All their answers are carefully thought out so that they sound exactly right. The people didn't come to the town halls to hear spin, talking points, and propaganda. When that's what they got, they weren't just going to sit there and listen to it. Instead, they shouted down the politicians because they weren't going to stand to be props in a carefully scripted propaganda machine.

Just think about when the crowds would raise a fuss. It was following a politicians' pronouncement that this health care reform package will NOT add to the deficit, won't cover abortions, and won't cause people to lose their health insurance. It's when a politician would proclaim that this health care reform package is NOT a government takeover, the public option is merely about adding choice, and it will bend the cost curve.

The people simply don't believe any of these talking points. So, to them, this is rank propaganda. No one likes being propagandized and so the town hall attendees don't just sit there and listen patiently while they are propagandized. Instead, they shout down the propaganda. How is someone supposed to respond when they know they are being propagandized. I was once at a town hall meeting in which a new Cook County Commissioner was being chosen. At this town hall the same person, Michele Smith, was running for the office, asking her competitors questions, and on the committee to vote on the replacement. At the same time, she asked each candidate how they would end the culture of conflict of interest. Really, knowing her oscene conflicts, she dared to ask others how they would end this culture. Now, I raised this question to the person that sat next to me, and I was told to be quiet. They wanted to listen to the speakers. This was not a meeting in which the public was allowed to challenge the pols. As such, this rank propaganda went on and no voter challenged it.

Now, which meeting would you rather attend? Would you rather sit while a politician runs for an office, asks questions of their competitor, and chooses the candidate all while asking how to end a culture of conflicts? All the while, you're told that you need to remain quiet as part of proper decorum. Or, would you rather go to a town and when you hear propaganda you challenge it?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The people simply don't believe any of these talking points."

Well of course they don't. But considering a lot of these people also believe a lot of stupid things (like Obama being a Muslim from Africa and "40 million illegals") you'll have to forgive me for believing the politician over the protesters.

That, combined with the protest group's small size (their message doesn't get much support outside of the 30% of Americans who still like Dick Cheney) and a strong argument can be made that these shout downs are inappropriate.

If you went to see the movie Footloose at your local cineplex, and like 15% of the audience stood up the entire time screaming "THAT'S NOT KEVIN BACON" is that appropriate? They're not right, and its not what you came to the theater to see, so why should I have to put up with it?

mike volpe said...

Good enough. You can side with the pols and I'll side with the protesters. There's so much absurdity I don't know where to start.

The one in Skokie attracted somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 thousand. The April 15th tea party attracted more than a million people nationwide. Ditto for the July 4th protests. The one on 9-12 will attract tens of thousands. Every pol says that the town halls are the biggest they've ever seen. So, your whole thesis is not backed by anything real.

As for the protesters, a lot of people believe a lot of stuff, but if you think that the pols know more about what is in the bill than the protesters you are fooling yourself. The bill is over 1000 pages, 53 new bureaucracies. No one knows what's in the bill because what's in the bill is inexplicable. That's what the people are screaming about.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a ridiculous statement. The pols who wrote the bill don't know what's in it but the protesters do. So like what, is everybody to the left of Ronald Reagan some sort of third-class citizen to you? Because that's the impression I get from these protesters, that their angry that conservatives aren't the only ones who matter anymore.

Your tea party attendance figures are ridiculously inaccurate. Fivethirtyeight.com projected no more than 311,500 people at 346 events. An average of about 900 people per event and a maximum of 15,000 in Atlanta. And the 4th of July events were substantially less well attended.

You also haven't demonstrated your movement has ANY support outside the 30% of Americans who still like Dick Cheney.

I didn't hear you complaining about the size of the PATRIOT Act. And since when is 1000 pages that much for such a sweeping piece of legislation. You act like the size and scope of the bill is per se evidence that its bad, but if people agreed why did your party get so viciously spanked in 2006 and 2008?

mike volpe said...

No one knows what's in it. The people aren't stupid. The bill is over a 1000 pages. That is a government take over. There is all sorts of stuff you can put into a bill when there's one thousand pages.