Pressure grows on citizens challenging Obama health plan. "Tone down rhetoric, stop being a mob." Should you?
August 9, 2009
Over the last several weeks, local "town hall" meetings held by members of Congress have become scenes of angry protest by fairly ordinary citizens. In Massachusetts this has also happened to some extent in the last few weeks.
People are outraged and frightened over the Congress' startling capitulation to the radical Obama agenda. In particular, the pending votes on nationalizing health care and the "cap and trade" taxes are energizing people like never before.
And well it should. Like the other things we've been discussing, these are serious issues that could change your lives and the very direction of society.
A few of the "town hall" videos that have been circulating:
Citizens confronting Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Citizens confronting Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
"Don't act fringe," they're telling you
There is a huge push by the liberal establishment, the mainstream media, and even a great many Republicans to tone down the rhetoric. It's on TV, in the newspapers, on the Internet -- it's seeping out everywhere. Don't yell, they say. Be calm. Be polite. Don't act like a "mob". Engage in calm, rational discussion and you'll do much better. Don't marginalize yourself. Don't act fringe.
Of course they're telling you that. That's because it's easier to dismiss you when you don't talk back. We've seen it so many times. Unfortunately, our side too often doesn't get it.
It's interesting that when the left wants to get something done, they never take that advice. Remember the anti-Proposition 8 demonstrations? Pro-abortion marches? The pro-gay-marriage campaigns? The Robert Bork hearings? You could go on and on.
There is a time to be calm and rational and there is a time to angry and unrelenting. You need to know the difference. The other side simply won't think you're serious unless you act like it's serious. That's just the way the world works, especially in politics.
(We've had this argument with the pro-life people for years. Why do you think there's never any progress there? The same can be said for "soft" pro-family groups.)
A timeless lesson
We learned that lesson back in the mid-1990s when we introduced the Parents Rights Bill in the Massachusetts Legislature. They laughed at us. They marginalized us. They spread all kinds of disinformation about the bill. But when several thousand parents screamed at their legislators and demanded protections, guess what happened? It got passed by the House and Senate, and signed by the Governor.
So we say to citizens across the country: If it's important, then let them know it. Don't back down. Otherwise you'll lose everything and you'll be yesterday's news.
That message is timeless. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the others -- all of them gentlemen -- certainly understood it well.