Despite Democratic descriptions of those protesting the President’s health care as a “mob,” protesters on the whole have conducted themselves in a civil manner. And despite conservative criticism of Democratic Representatives (and Senators) of painting their critics with a broad brush (as some have done), a good number of Democrats, like the late Jim Hunter, have shown great respect for their political adversaries.
And I’m pleased to report that one such Democrat, Connecticut’s Chris Murphy is a graduate of America’s finest liberal arts’ college. Although “mobbed” by angry constituents at a supermarket in his district, this good man was unfazed and stood up for citizens’ rights to speak out:
Murphy said it didn’t matter to him whether those attending were part of a coordinated effort or just on their own.
“Any time I’m talking to my constituents in an unfiltered way I consider it productive,” he said in a phone interview afterward.
Murphy acknowledged that a few angry voices dominated the gathering, at least initially. But he said that didn’t bother him. “Was that out of a Norman Rockwell town meeting painting? No. But there are big issues being discussed in Washington … and people have a right to be concerned, even angry about it.”
It’s too bad my representatives in Washington haven’t shown such understanding for their critics’ concerns. (Heck, they don’t even seem to be open to meeting with us.) Still, we should act as if all our representatives were as open to our concerns as Murphy has been.
When we protest, we must make our concerns known, but not drown out elected officials (and their representatives) when they are trying to speak. Allahpundit offers this advice:
If all they’re going to do is scream, they belong outside. Disrupting the event itself when people are trying to listen is a jackass thing to do, and totally counterproductive in terms of handing the left material with which to tar the GOP. [Read more…]