I was listening to NPR on my way home from work just like every other day. I heard a story about hooligans disrupting a town hall meeting regarding health care reform. Basically, they just start yelling like drunk teenagers, and disrupting an event that others turned out for, no doubt, because they actually wanted to hear what the representatives had to say. I found the whole thing rather ridiculous, but I was downright appalled when I heard that you, a fellow Nutmegger, were behind these shenanigans.
Many of the events this week appear to have been organized by conservative groups. A new Web site is called “Operation Embarrass Your Congressman.” A widely circulated memo tells right-wing protesters how to treat their representative: “Make him uneasy … stand up and shout out, and sit right back down … rattle him.”
The memo concludes, “Just imagine what we can achieve if we see to it that every representative in the nation who has supported the socialist agenda has a similar experience!”
I reached the man who wrote this memo by phone. His name is Bob MacGuffie. He lives in Fairfield, Conn., and belongs to the conservative group Tea Party Patriots. He told me he is sick of writing letters to Congress and getting form letters in return, and that he just wants to be heard.
It seems to me that the next logical step after letter-writing would be to go to one of these town halls and ask a question…not shout like rowdy soccer fans. Not only does it completely invalidate your point of view, but it’s just plain rude…and if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s bad manners. Just think about all the people who took the time–possibly a day off from work–to attend one of these functions to get some answers and then had to sit through the obnoxious rabble rousing of one of your cohorts. Even that guy who threw a shoe at W. had the decency to make his opinion known and then get dragged off by secret service rather than derail the whole press conference.
I doubt I’ll be able to convince you or your pals to stop acting like hoodlums, but I’m wondering if you could do the rest of us Connecticut residents a favor: stop telling people where you’re from. We’ve got a bad enough reputation for being cold, unfriendly, rich snobs. We don’t need to add completely tactless heathens to the list.