I kind of like the Town Hall Criers.
The yellers. The screamers. The sobbers. I kinda like them. I don’t want to hang out with them. Or share a park bench with them. Quite frankly, I don’t even want to share a Denny’s with them. But I like them anyway.
I like them partly because of my special mandate to accept anger in all forms. And these clowns seem angry. Spittle flies from their lips. Their faces become red valentines of hate. They often break down in tears. How can I keep my head high in fury while dismissing the Town Hall Criers? I can’t. You’re in the club, bro.
And by expressing their anger, the Town Hall Criers have underscored the undervalued value of rancor: Rage makes people think.
Make no mistake, I believe most of the Town Hall Criers are imbeciles. They recklessly evoke the name of Hitler, applying it to our Nation’s leaders without really understanding the implications. They shout Socialism so much, you can almost see Newt Gingrich pulling the strings. And worst of all, they mistake single-minded rudeness for patriotism.
If you support government sponsored health care, then you hate Capitalism! You are a foe to freedom! And you know who else hated freedom? Hitler! Yes! Hitler! He took over the auto industry too! Boo! I’m scared! Boooo!
Yeah. I know. And still, I kinda like these guys.
I like them not for their heroically miniature brains, but because of what their ignorance has exposed: Health care is a bitch. It’s a kick to the pills for which no amount of ice can reduce the swelling and the ache. It’s as confusing as the disclaimer copy for Cialis. I’d have Lou Ferigno punch me in the face ten times rather than figure out how to pay for the resulting reconstructive surgery.
Before the Town Hall Criers colored their first Hitler mustache on a picture of President Obama, our elected Senators were hardly reading the measures the universal health care advocates were cooking up. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas claimed she hadn’t read the bill because “it wasn’t finished yet.” What the hell are you waiting for? Half-an-hour before the vote? Sen. Lincoln, fearful of becoming the next You Tube sensation, also postponed all her Town Hall meetings until after August. Perhaps she will have an opinion by then.
The Town Hall Criers, for all their misinformed bravado and scare tactics, are making our elected officials work. We’re all paying attention. Better yet, we’re asking all the questions that we should have asked at the very beginning. Why are we rushing this bill? What are the costs? Is there a better solution than just making up a whole new system? Is tighter regulation a more logical answer? Or should we forget these lukewarm half-measures and experiment with a Canadian-style system?
As an added bonus, Town Hall Criers are forcing us to ask questions about ourselves: Does the government still represent the people? Are we really a nation comprised of paranoid hillbillies? Do we view good health care as a right or a responsibility in this country? Can Senator Barney Frank hold his own in a fist fight?
Ask the Angry Czeck about universal health care, and I’ll tell you how I like the idea. Everyone in the word’s wealthiest country should receive excellent health care. Furthermore, our citizen’s are getting older, medical costs are out of control, malpractice suites are ridiculous, and Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air. Our health care is not the best in the world. But it’s also not the worst, and that’s got to count for something.
Meanwhile, the Town Hall Crier’s are still crying, still spreading around dumb rumors, still masking their ignorance with patriotism and still displaying a level of intelligence that makes me believe that the real problem might be our education system. Their colorful Made-For-YouTube highlights make me cringe. I thought Jon Goslin and the Oldsmobile Alero were America’s biggest embarrassments. Turns out, we can set the bar lower.
Still, I kinda like these guys.