Whenever the crowds would boo the extremism promoted by the right during the 2008 campaign, Obama would say “don’t boo, just vote.” I always interpreted this to be Obama’s way of saying that we can’t just complain about something, we actually need to get out and do something about it. That was a great mantra then and it’s a great mantra now during the debate surrounding the health care debate.
The Republicans have gotten together with the insurance companies in order to send people out to disrupt town halls that are taking place all over the country. Since the tactics make it easy for the networks to show conflict (which then gets them ratings), the mainstream media is all over these crazy tactics but don’t spend nearly enough time talking about how there are a lot supporters of a public option. As I’ve been talking with these supporters of health care reform I’ve gotten the sense that many people are frustrated with the current state of the debate and are beginning to “boo” the tactics being used.
While it’s obviously important to highlight how the right is spreading misinformation about health care reform and trying to stifle debate, I think the best thing to do is to not just “boo” that type of behavior but “just vote.” Instead of heading to the polls to vote for a candidate like Obama was talking about in the campaign, however, you can “vote” in favor of health care reform by writing a letter to your members of Congress or attending a town hall to express your support.
The whole point of having people shouting down discussion at these town halls, after all, is to make it appear as though anti-reform advocates have a lot more support than they really do. If you take Obama’s advice from the campaign and “don’t boo, just vote,” then you can go a long ways toward letting Congress know that the American public truly does support health care reform.