Like most issues, I have strong opinions on the healthcare bill. But all the opinions, pro-, con- and middling- have been posted, discussed and done to death, and there’s little new to say on the topic.
But there is one thing left to say on the debate. It matters less who “wins” or “loses”, I believe, as much as it matters how we conducted ourselves in the making of it. Once again, I want to reiterate that in no political debates should lies be acceptable — and should be denounced by the allies of the people lying even before it comes to the attention of the opponents.
However, this time there is something new, which I find even more despicable — personal attacks. It seems that even in the Prop-8 debate we had less of those. Now, it seems, racial slurs, mocking the disabled and acts of semi-violence (such as spitting) are par for the course. When did that become acceptable? Why are people not quick to distance themselves from the instigators of such actions?
I am a realist. But even a half-hearted, “these are a tiny, vocal, minority who engages in such actions. We denounce such things as unacceptable, coming from either side. They do not represent us or our views” coming from the leaders would assuage me. I have seen no such condemnation, and that bothers me. Such scare tactics against protestors and elected officials are a thing belonging to benighted regimes, not to a modern democracy where we believe we all have a right to express ourselves and to stand up for our beliefs.