The recent outbursts and challenges of elected officials at healthcare townhall meetings has revealed something that is, quite frankly, astounding for the traditional involvement of the public in the political process. What I am referring to is average citizens that are unorganized, unfunded, and extremely concerned about the proposed healthcare bill. They are asking informed questions that the politicians either don’t know the answer to, or give an answer that is absolutely nonsensical. Up to this point in time, the public has politely yawned while the political process plodded on. So what has happened?
I’m reminded by this quote from the movie “Network”:
“I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!!”
So why are Americans “mad as Hell”?
For the past year, we watched as the housing and financial sectors imploded, taking with them manufacturing and automotive companies. Job losses, foreclosures, and personal bankruptcies mounted into the millions, and the response of government has been to pass pork-laden legislation that spent huge amounts of future taxpayer dollars for questionable results. And when it is revealed that many of the same government policies, regulations, and politicians created the problems in the first place, it becomes obvious that politicians via the government are out of control and have no qualms about feeding at the public trough to achieve their own ends.
The current crop of politicians in office have run on the platform of hope, change, and transparency. That hope has changed into a morbid hopelessness, the change for the better is changing for the worse, and the only transparency there is the obvious attempt of the politicians to cram as much legislation loaded with their pet projects through before the public catches on. Are there any doubts that the government that we now have is not what the majority voted for?
And when the voters are protesting, they are called un-American, un-patriotic, and a whole host of other nasty names by the supporters of the current Administration. All for voicing their opinions. What is so hypocritical is that they did the same thing when the former Administration was in power, and they called it their God-given right under the power of Free Speech granted by the Constitution. For instance:
“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” – Hillary Clinton
Perhaps that statement should be changed to the following:
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism except when it emanates from anyone other than a Democrat. Then it is known as a fear mongering, right wing angry mob.” – Jess @ Waiting for the other shoe to drop
The freedom of speech can only be exercised through freedom of thought. That freedom of thought can only be exercised through the freedom of the citizens from government control. Where that now comes into question is the infamous White House request (now deemed to have been an illegal act) to turn in rumors, disinformation or “fishy” information concerning the health care bill. Is this an encouragement of freedom of speech, thought, or debate by the government? No, I think not.
The turning point of the American citizen of becoming involved with the affairs of government has been HR3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. For example, anyone who reads this Bill will find that it gives the government the right to your bank account to determine your ability to pay for healthcare, mandates senior citizens receive “end of life” counseling, assesses penalties for lack of “acceptable coverage”, and it goes on. This Bill appears to take away privacy and freedoms of the American citizen while expanding the bureaucratic nightmare that is government. Is that right? Again, I think not.
The public has awakened to the shenanigans of our elected officials. The politicians have made promises that they are not keeping, and are writing and passing legislation that they neither read or understand except for what their patrons & special interest “partners” would receive. The public is now paying attention to the political and legislative process, and educating themselves on the issues being addressed in government.
And perhaps that is where the politicians are having problems with the American public. For far too long, our politicians have legislated and enacted policies far from the public’s interest or view. Ignorance and apathy are no longer blissful for the American public.
The politicians absolutely hate it, because the last thing they want is an informed and involved public. This is one of the reasons that some politicians have either canceled or refused to participate in townhall meetings.
An informed and involved public is exactly what the Founders of this Republic had in mind when this country was founded. This is one of the reasons that the First Amendment passage concerning Freedom of Speech was included in the Constitution. The Republic was founded to represent the people of the country, not for the government of the Republic.
It is up to us, the American Citizen, to hold our elected leaders continuously accountable for their actions. Otherwise, we will get the government we deserve.