I just finished watching the Health Care town hall meeting in Reston, VA yesterday that was disrupted by protest. I support anyone and everyone’s right to discuss and debate, even (and especially) those with whom I disagree. But I strongly oppose ANYONE (including people whose philosophies I agree with) using some of the tactics that were used yesterday:
The people (even who disagreed with Dean and Moran) who actually were willing to ask questions and discuss things had a good opportunity to do so. Other folks…were asshats.
I’m very glad I watched this, and I want to make sure that I watch more, and include debates where people that I agree with are allegedly disruptive. We have to debate, folks. We have to discuss. That doesn’t mean we’re going to agree; I find it exceedingly unlikely that you’ll convince me that torture is ever a good idea, for example. But having a dialogue is important…disrupting a dialogue is never productive.
And btw…I don’t mean that protest is never appropriate. It can be, and I’ve done it myself. But disruptive protest in the middle of an open discussion about any issue has a pretty high standard to meet in order to be appropriate.
Long story short: that meeting video is excellent; give it a view.