Town Halls Rock the U.S.: Obama, Are You Listening?

The month of August has been packed with American civic engagement, as citizens across the country have participated in lively debates and issue-oriented initiatives. Most notably, President Barack Obama’s administration and congressional Democrats have been confronted on a daily basis by millions of Americans questioning their proposed solutions to health care reform as outlined in the 1,017 pages of HR 3200. While the forums have ranged from town halls and petitions to rallies and blogs, there is one common thread: in return for their involvement, the American people are being verbally pillaged by the government -- the very same people that are intent on controlling our fate through medical treatment decisions. When not satisfied with the highly orchestrated and suppressive health care town halls being hosted by President Obama and the congressmen home for the August recess, Americans are taking the initiative to gather and increase the strength of their individual voices and, in doing so, advance a unified message.

As evidenced on Saturday, August 15, at America’s Health Care Town Hall in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, the number of Americans -- Republicans, Democrats, and independents -- against ObamaCare is growing. More than twenty national organizations -- representing more than 4.5 million members nationwide dedicated to free market, patient-centered health care reform -- came together with small business owners to discuss positive health care reform and call for the defeat of the liberal Democrats’ health care reform plans. With 12,500 people in attendance, the event effectively captured the size, diversity, and strength of opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform bill.

Georgia resident Mark Misenheimer attended the town hall with his teenage son -- and not because he was driven or bused in by some PAC or union, as Democrats have alleged time and again about the individuals involved. For Misenheimer, this was the very first time in his life that a certain sense of necessity and responsibility had inspired him to take action and send a message to Washington: enough is enough. Facing a Chicago-style political machine and what often appears as an insurmountable challenge, Misenheimer and other Americans just like him around the country have stepped up to the plate to stop the exportation of seriously damaging and irreversible legislation coming out of Washington. Despite the baseless and inaccurate accusations and characterizations of the bill’s opponents by the White House and Democrats at every level, Misenheimer describes with a great sense of hope and resolution the seriousness of this debate and the importance of being able to communicate it effectively to his son and community. “It’s hard to communicate it without instilling fear, so you do it softly,” he said. “The Bible shares that leaders are installed by God’s will, sometimes to heal and sometimes to punish, and unless we can stand up and share truth, we will get more of what the people have voted for.”

Is this the “hope” and “change” people voted for last November? This very question and the general debate over health care have exhumed not only the obsession that Democrats have with socialism, but also exposed the left’s flirtation with introducing anti-capitalist public policy in America.