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article imageKennedy: Nation could turn violent over health care debate

By Michael Krebs     Sep 29, 2009 in Politics
As a new poll shows record low support for President Obama's health care proposals, Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy expressed concern over the prospect for violent upheaval on the issue.
Americans may turn violent over the health care reform question, and this violence may be directed by right-wing talk show hosts - and may be directed at politicians. This was the picture painted by Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who cited his family's past as evidence of the violence that can come from emotionally-charged political fanaticism.
Kennedy's comments come as a new poll demonstrates the new low in support among Americans for the health care initiatives supported by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Only 41 percent of American voters now support the health care proposals being put forward in the House and Senate, according to Rasmussen Reports. 56 percent of Americans are opposed to the plan.
The health care legislation debate spawned emotional town hall sessions nationwide in August and led to a large demonstration in the nation's capitol in September. It is an emotional third-rail issue in many congressional districts that has pushed President Obama into the spotlight and forced the president to go on an all-out media blitz.
The health care issue has galvanized the general population and has given birth to robust political protests that have led to concerns on the potential for violence first from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and now from Congressman Kennedy.
“I will note that there were a number of prominent security people in this country who spoke very openly this past week that … that there are consequences in terms of trying to protect public officials. There are consequences to violent rhetoric,” Kennedy said, according to The Providence Journal. “Some people can see through TV ratings and right-wing talk show hosts that just try to create some theater, but unfortunately, there are some that can’t see through it. And that’s the danger in it. There is definitely freedom of speech, but freedom of speech does not allow yelling ‘fire’ in the middle of a crowded movie theater.”
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