Last night in Charlottesville, that came to an end. The auditorium was again packed for Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-05) town hall meeting. This time though, the audience included many supporters supporting reform who took to the microphone with reasoned, rational statements. When the realization crept over the mob that other opinions would be heard and the debate would be responsible, respectful, and issues-based they simply walked out. That seemed to verify my contention that opponents of health reform aren't interested in democratic debate, consensus building, and compromise - they want it their way or no way and they want to defeat anything they see as part of the "Obama agenda."
Lesson of the story: If supporters of health care reform want to be successful we will have to respectfully but forcefully push back at the town hall meetings citing facts, truths, and turning out in sufficient numbers so as to not be intimidated and shouted down. We can also:
- Call or email our senators and representatives;
- Write letters to the editor;
- Post on blogs;
- Talk to friends and family.
Video of the Charlottesville town hall meeting on NBC29.