Quote of The Day: Why Even Fiery Town Hall Meetings Are A Positive Thing
Our political Quote of the Day comes from the Atlantic’s always perceptive Marc Ambinder who offers this perspective on the increasing ugliness of the healthcare Town Hall meetings:
There’s lots of lamenting on the left about all the teabaggers showing up and town hall meetings on health care being held by returning members. The right’s all atwitter about organized labor and the left sending people to these meetings. I’m not sure any of it is really bad. Obviously, death threats, demonization and the like are not good for civil discourse. No one gains from shouting. In a perfect world each town meeting would be a civilized discussion of the merits of different approaches to health care. But that’s not the world we live in. The more likely alternative is no interest, sparsely attended meetings or just one side showing up.
At least you can say there’s some civic engagement going on. Yes, a lot of it is based on fear mongering and stoked emotions. Rush Limbaugh’s rant yesterday comparing the “Democrat party” to Hitler was among the more absurd things ever spoken. But the enemy of legislation is apathy and we’re not in an apathetic season. There’s real passion over this issue, even if a lot of it is based on willful ignorance.
FOOTNOTE: Ambinder is generally one of the cooler heads and an excellent reporter as well. His take on it here is of someone who took a deep breath, stepped back and didn’t get caught up in the emotions felt by people on both sides of this issue. Is this indeed the up-side and an important one? (Your answer in comments, pul-leaze..)