I read the op-ed in USA Today by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. I was disappointed to see the headline “Un-American Attacks Can’t Derail Health Care Debate.” Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer say “let the facts be heard.” At least they have that right. The American people have shown up at hundreds of townhall meetings to do just that. They want to voice their opinions and listen to what their Representatives in Congress have to say.
An American voicing their opinion at a meeting with their representative, even in a loud and raucous manner, is not disruptive. In fact, the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In case our Congressional leaders need to be reminded, it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I have watched the news clips of many townhall meetings. At only two of the hundreds of meetings held, have I seen situations get out of control. Both of those incidents were caused not by the average Americans wanting to be heard, but by organized supporters of the Democrats trying to stop the free speech of people opposed to the proposed bill.
Incidentally, none of the Democrats seem to be talking about one of the big issues at these townhall meetings: How can Congress vote on a bill, or for that matter, the President sign a bill, that they haven’t bothered to read. It makes you wonder who has written the bill? Will anyone who represents the American people bother to read it before they force it on the people?
The American people have every right to expect answers to their questions. They ask legitimate questions: Will this bill increase health care costs? Will it add to the out of control deficit? What effect will it have on elderly relatives, young families, small businesses, and every day people? Could it be that the Democratic leadership is trying stop these questions because they don’t know the answers?