Call me naive. Call me a meek and mild Quaker boy, but I went to a town hall meeting last week here in Claremont on healthcare insurance reform, and I was frightened. I’m sure the organizers, a pretty progressive bunch with good, if not preaching-to-the-choir, intentions, got a bit of a shock, to say the least. It was a flat-out ugly scene.
It was just like those awful scenes we’ve been seeing on the news. There were people yelling and booing and screaming. At one point, a young man, an anti-abortion activist shouting that he was being assaulted, was dragged out of the room, and the police were called, and it appeared that the doors were being locked. It was bad enough that I sat behind an older man who wore a shirt featuring a waving U.S flag and images of Mt. Rushmore and who kept giving the thumbs down and shouting things like "lies" and "bullshit."
I wondered why these people were there, since there were no elected officials or lawmakers present. Were they there just to make trouble? (Meanwhile, I read an article on Sunday about how ammunition vendors are having difficulty keeping up with the demand...)
It also didn’t help that the panel of speakers was stacked with progressive types advocating a single payer system. One all but endorsed socialism, bringing on a particularly violent reaction. Nor did it help when the speakers, who I agreed with, said stupid, egging-on things like, "I like being called an Obama person!"
Here are the reasons I heard why people don’t like the proposed reforms:
*The government will drive private insurers out of business and will take over.
*The government will dictate everything, and I’ll have no choice. *Everything the government does ends up costing even more than first said.
*The tax-payers will pay for abortions.
*Illegal aliens will get free healthcare.
*I work hard for my money and choose to pay for my healthcare in cash, thank you very much, and don’t want to pay for others who don’t work hard.
*I don’t want to lose what I have now.
*This is all coming too fast.
I also heard resistance to certain facts, like America not having the world’s best healthcare.
I heard people sticking to their ideas and ideology, based on and driven by fear (I.e: Rush Limbaugh, etc.), and that scared me - more than the shouting. I went home shaken and sickened and all but feeling hopeless.
"All but," because I was reminded that I need to keep getting out there and doing what I do. I once again saw that there are people who will never, ever see things the way I do, and that I can’t worry about them and changing their mind. If I do this, I will fail and die. All I can do is to keep on doing my thing. Maybe some of these people will see me and won’t change their minds; maybe some, a few, will. God knows it’s better than fighting.