8/12/2009—No one could fail to be depressed by the anger displayed at the town hall meeting held by Senator Arlen Specter. The anger is representative of disrupted meetings on health care all over the nation.
In a way, none of this is surprising. Plenty of it is rigged by well-organized conservative groups. But, on the other hand, this must be the first time in history that people have come out to protest in favor of large profits by insurance companies. Everyone, including the angry protestors, probably agree that the healthcare system we have now is terrible. So, why the anger over attempts to change it, even if the protestors disagree with some of the proposals?
One woman was quoted in the media as saying she doesn’t want this country to become Russia. But, almost all these protestors voted for George Bush. It is his mess that has led to expanded government to try clean it up. Where’s the remorse?
I think I have an explanation for most of the anger. These protestors, especially in Pennsylvania, are the same people of whom President Obama said, after the Pennsylvania Primary, “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
The people in these demonstrations never like or trusted President Obama. And if he thinks he understands them, as his famous quote suggests, he has not communicated to them respect and empathy.