2017-08-30 / Letters

Liberal rants about Brat, health care unproductive

Is Jim McConnell’s piece, “Brat declines meeting with liberal groups,” in the Aug. 16 issue an article or an editorial? In either case it is an excellent representation of the arrogance and close-mindedness that corrupts the current political atmosphere in our country. The case in point swirls around town hall meetings and the Affordable Care Act. First, Chrystal Doyle, who according to the article is a progressive activist, is quoted about Rep. Brat’s refusal to attend an Aug. 22 town hall. By her own admission, previous town halls have been nonproductive shouting matches and controlling those who came to a public event was not possible.

Why would any politician agree to such a meeting? Would Ms. Doyle recommend her candidate of choice hold a town hall in a district that was heavily populated by the tea party? Of course she wouldn’t; no one in their right mind would. Also Terri Dougherty’s comment about not allowing Rep. Brat to “win the narrative” is very telling; she has no interest in what he has to say. The article then quotes Dougherty, a leader of Indivisible Midlothian, blaming the frustration at the last town hall meeting on Rep. Brat’s “canned answers” and that he “pontificated.” The context seemed to be that this was something that only the congressman did. Really? No other politician has ever done such a thing?

Finally, the article exhibits the arrogance exhibited by both political factions. In this case Ms. Doyle states, “If he wants to make decisions against the best interest of his constituents that is on him.” So Ms. Doyle is supremely confident that the ACA, as it is written, is in the best interest of our citizenry? Has she read it in its entirety? Does she know or understand the ACA’s full cost both to the federal budget and in loss of jobs? Is an $800 monthly premium with a $12,000 deductible really an insurance policy? Particularly when 80 percent of Americans can’t write a $400 check that would clear their bank account? Exactly what problem have we solved?

What we need is some civility in our political process. Town hall meetings with the “gotcha” mentality that are intended to be nothing more than shouting matches that vilify one side or the other are destructive, not constructive. I believe that, if they would, both sides could come together and propose some changes that would make the ACA a very workable system that would be agreeable and helpful to all. Preventing someone from “winning the narrative” is not the attitude that will get us there.

Joe Hudgins

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