My turn, your turn: Health care protests - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

8.11.09

My turn, your turn: Health care protests

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By Gary McNair - bio|email

When I started doing these commentaries I wanted to make sure viewers also had a chance to express opinions.   We are never going to agree on all the issues, and that's okay.  It's the debate and the dialogue that really matters - and makes us stronger. 

But public discourse is a two way street, and that becomes impossible when all the shouting takes place.  That is why scenes of protests bother me. 

Several health care reform protests have been taking place across the nation, and it's no secret some were planned and organized by the insurance lobbies. 

I have no problem with people speaking out against a national health care plan - I have concerns as well. 

What does bother me is the way the protests are carried out - shouting at representatives, the pushing, the shoving, and all the rudeness.

The biggest threat facing this country is not any one issue.  It's our inability to discuss the issues and settle our differences in a civil manner.    

I'm not a doctor - but my diagnosis of the heath care debate is calling for a different prescription - something along the lines of a "chill pill." 

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.

Emailed response from viewers:

I agree that shouting and rudeness do not get you anywhere. I have watched several of the forums, yesterday the Arlin Spector forum was very orderly and respectful. It was sad however to see that he new next to nothing about what is in the bill. I have seen Senators say they don't have time to read 1000 pages so they each read a portion, something that important I think they should find time especially now they are on Hiatus.

I really think that the forum that was held by Obama was a "stacked deck" one like most of his gatherings, the others were made up of very concerned citizens. I have never been a political activist until this presidency, we are circling the drain with Obama as our chief, people are angry and frustrated.

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I agree with your concern on the out bursts at these town meetings. This does not however condone Rep Mike McIntyre refusal to have a town hall

meeting. He is afraid to come out and discuss the issues. Mike works for us the people not Nancy Pelosi or Henry Waxman. I am willing to work with Mike to have a meaningful town hall meeting.

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I certainly agree with your position.Viet Nam War was also a hot issue. We cannot stick our heads in the sand. 

Mike McIntyre is the people's representative in the US Congress. He works for the people. The people elected him. We need to challenge Mike to an open debate. I believe WECT can create a safe town hall setting for that debate.

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Yes, shouting and grandstanding at the Town hall meetings is not what we would like to see, BUT, I believe that a tremendously large portion of citizens have come to realize that our Government (Administration and Congress) only gives lip service to us, while, silently, behind the public scene, working for one goal. That goal is to get re-elected.  Part of that process is to take money from special interest groups (lobbyist) to fund their campaigns.

I believe the Town hall meetings are showing that the general public is just about fed up with our elected representatives, and will probably turn many of them out of their "Ivory Tower" in the next elections.

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