Last night a large group of American citizens showed up at the Ruckersville Elementary School to voice their opinions both for and against government run health care. What a great country we live in, a place where opposing sides of an issue can get together and peacefully discuss such an important matter.
The first thing that was quite evident was the format change. Congressman Perriello had originally planned to have only one on one meetings at these events, due I believe to demand, he ran the first hour as an open town hall style meeting (which ended up going for 1 1/2 hours) and saved the last hour for the one on ones. For the open mic portion people were asked to get in line and were allowed to ask their questions. This worked quite well with the exception of the microphone cutting out every once in a while.
The crowd was large for a Greene County event, besides county residents there were people from Earlysville, Charlottesville and Crozet. The moveon.org people were there with blue arm bands and what seemed like little patience for people who wanted to not only ask questions of the congressman but to make statements as well. Many times when a person did not start off with a question and made an opening statement they were rudely interrupted. This seemed to only happen when someone who opposed government run health care spoke.
I personally believe that these town halls are put to best use by not just asking questions but by making your beliefs heard. Our legislators are inundated with phone calls, emails and faxes, something that does not seem to catch their attention. Hence these town halls are our only real chance to be heard. To the people on the left this is known as petitioning your representatives, something guaranteed in the Constitution.
In most cases if you have been paying attention to the actions of your representatives you probably already know were they stand on many issues, these events are great for letting them know how you stand. Last night the crowd made it quite clear to Mr. Perriello that the majority of those attending did not want government interference in their health care. Out of the several hundred people at this event approximately one in eight were supporters of government health care. Of the supporters that stood to ask questions the main point that most of them brought out was that they wanted cheaper insurance. Unfortunately these people actually think that the government is going to be able to provide cheap and effective health coverage to everyone. I only have two questions for them are you new to this planet or do you know of something the government has actually done efficiently that nobody else knows about?