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article imageOp-Ed: Democracy, Health Care Reform, and the Color of Unicorns

By Sitafa Harden     Aug 17, 2009 in Politics
Birthers, deathers, and angry town hallers---is the debate over health care reform displaying American democracy in action?
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, political commentator Eugene Robinson wrote:
Trying to analyze the "birther" phenomenon would mean taking it seriously, and taking it seriously would be like arguing about the color of unicorns."
That comparison really tickled me. It also made me step back and think about this whole birther and deather nonsense from a completely different perspective.
You see, for weeks I have been alternately flabbergasted and aggravated by the misleading propaganda, and, at times, outright lies generated by some of the opponents of health care reform.
Today, high profile Democrats like former DNC chairman Howard Dean and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have urged the President to push for his public-option version of the health care bill even without Republican support. Yet, President Obama continues to travel the country educating the populace on his plan. All despite the fact that he possibly has enough power in Congress to pass a non-bipartisan version of health care reform without the support of birthers, deathers, Palin, the right wing media, or the rest of the grumpy Republicans.
Then it struck me that maybe this really is the Democratic process in motion as it was envisioned (minus the guns and the death threats, that is).
Personally, I feel that if I hear Sarah Palin misinterpret one more line in the health care reform bill, I might be driven to commit hari-kari. But, arguably, when Patrick Henry yelled his now famous words, "Give me Liberty of give me Death!", perhaps he was feeling the same way.
And maybe the angry town halls mobs feel that way, too. Whether my irritation is any more justified than their uncontrolled outbursts is a moot point.
I'm not happy about the thought that many more months may have to be spent painstakingly spelling out the difference between end-of-life counseling and so-called death panels to ungraciously confused town hall attendees. I firmly believe that health care reform with a public option is the best way to provide all Americans access to more affordable health care.
But in a democracy I guess this is what it's all about. Liberty, justice, and the right to obnoxiously disagree for all—even the unicorn chasers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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