Friday, August 7, 2009

Town Hall Meetings

With the arrival of the August Congressional recess, lawmakers are back in their districts holding town hall meetings. This year many of the meetings are experiencing large turnouts of not always polite participants. Conservatives, especially, are deeply concerned about the program President Obama is pushing:
  1. Will it increase taxes?
  2. What will happen to Medicare, with partial funding of the program coming from Medicare?
  3. Will it result in long waits for treatment and rationing of treatment?
Unfortunately, feeling is running so high that meetings have degenerated into shouting matches. As a conservative, I sympathize with the protesters. But are they accomplishing anything? I wonder. And the liberals are beginning to react with counterprotests. This is a recipe for violence, which no one in his right mind ought to want. Vigorous debate in a democracy is desirable. Disruption of meetings which ought to be forums for vigorous debate is not, and is destructive to democracy.
A month remains until Congress reconvenes. That’s enough time for Congress to hire a polling organization to sample every legislative district to find out what the electorate thinks of President Obama’s healthcare proposal and what reforms they advocate in health care. Then Congress can proceed with good information about what the public supports and does not support.

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