Saturday, August 15, 2009

Screaming Me-mes! Free Speech or Loud Bully?

I have been to and seen many town hall meetings and as much as I appreciate political concern, I have no patience for ignorance, heated passion or anything that cannot be logically applied to an issue, and backed up with relevant facts. It embarrasses me that our media play unedited, live town halls which demonstrate our worst instead of our best intellectual thought.

I don't care what someone's position is; it never holds value to repeat something or to say it more loudly; and doesn't not change its truth. Loud idiots should never have an advantage over thoughtful, intelligent people.

When others across the globe see rednecks talking about "death panels", and for that matter, when one of those rednecks was a VP candidate, it makes America look like a nation of Jerry Springer University graduates.

I respect my conservative and liberal friends alike, as long as they don't confuse emotionality and quickened anger for "Americanism".

Personally, if I were a congressman and I held a town hall, I would lay down the law that there is as much a right to hear as a right to speak. When one speaks in a disrespectful way, just as in my classroom, I would immediately dismiss them.

These politicians, who fail to manage a respectful, intelligent discourse, should not have town halls, plain and simple.

If people scream, chant or disrupt in any way someone else's right to civil communication, and they refuse to leave, tazer them and drag them out. They may protest as loudly as they like outside the meeting as long as they don't disturb communication among those who came to advance real political thought.

American media who play unedited, live reports, are irresponsible and the people who see live reporting know they can misbehave and get on the air. Both are wrong, but ultimately, it is the media's responsibility to avoid being an unfiltered megaphone for idiots.

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