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AP: Who (The Hell) Are These Protesters?

From Associated Press:

A man tries to prevent another man from shouting at the beginning of a town hall meeting on healthcare reform sponsored by Congressman Adam Schiff in Alhambra, California, August 11, 2009.

Just who are these health care protesters?

By Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 13

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Nancy Snyder says she kept quiet when abortion was legalized and prayer in schools was eliminated. Not this time.

"They did it for prayer, they did it for abortion, and they’re not going to do it for our health care," the 70-year-old nurse from Philipsburg, Pa., said Wednesday as she and her husband Robert, 74, a retired coal miner, waited in a long, snaking line for Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter’s town hall meeting.

"We’re not standing back this time," Snyder said.

Instead, the Snyders and many Americans like them are adding their voices to a populist backlash evident in the taunts, jeers and rants at lawmakers’ health care forums around the country in the past week and a half. The contentious sessions highlight the difficulty for President Barack Obama and the Democrats as they push for a comprehensive remaking of the nation’s health care system.

Many of those raising their voices and fists at the town halls have never been politically active. Their frustration was born earlier this year with government bailouts and big spending bills, then found an outlet in the anti-tax Tea Parties in April and has simmered in the punishing recession.

In some cases, it’s been nurtured by talk radio and Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, which seeks to unify Americans around nine values such as honesty, hope and sincerity and 12 principles, including, "I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."

There is an element of organized opposition, just as on the other side unions and Obama’s political organization are trying to turn out supporters to town halls and other events. The insurance industry lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, is encouraging workers to attend town hall events to make their views known. So is the group Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

Still another group, Americans for Prosperity, has two buses emblazoned with the slogan "Hands off our Health Care!" that are traveling around the country to rallies and town halls, including Specter’s. At the town halls, small groups of volunteers circulate petitions opposing any legislation allowing greater government involvement.

But it’s not just about organization

The protesters have several concerns, but a unifying emotion is distrust of the government and federal intrusion into individual liberties or personal choices.

The emerging protest movement is almost the mirror image of the grass-roots campaign that helped sweep Obama into office by pulling in people who’d never been politically active. This time Obama is seeing the other side of what can happen when people are motivated, connect over the Internet and seemingly reach a tipping point that turns them from onlookers into activists…

Protesters interviewed at Specter’s town hall events in central Pennsylvania this week were almost exclusively white, conservative and working class. But they ranged in age and their concerns went beyond health care to deficit spending, taxes, government growth and other issues. Many contradicted claims from Democratic leaders that their protest was manufactured by lobbyists or that they represented an orchestrated opposition led by Republicans or national conservative groups…

A USA Today/Gallup Poll released Wednesday found that most Americans believe the protesters’ sentiments are genuine, but they disapprove of some of the disruptive tactics. A solid majority say the efforts of activists to organize opposition has been a factor in the events.

It’s not clear whether they’re winning hearts and minds. Thirty-six percent of respondents said the protests haven’t made any difference in how they view the health care debate, while 34 percent said they were more sympathetic toward the protesters’ views and 21 percent were less sympathetic

What a surprisingly fair article, albeit a day late and many dollars short.

Protesters interviewed at Specter’s town hall events in central Pennsylvania this week were almost exclusively white, conservative and working class.

Isn’t this ‘racial profiling’?

And why is it we don’t hear the racial composition and social status of other protesters at protest rallies.

The protesters have several concerns, but a unifying emotion is distrust of the government and federal intrusion into individual liberties or personal choices.

Remember way back a hundred years ago when the popular slogans with the kids used to be: ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Body’?

Remember how important the ‘freedom to choose’ used to be in some quarters?

We are somewhat happily surprised that the American public would have such positive views about the protesters. Especially in light of how fair the media has been about portraying each side.

The pro(s):

 

Versus, the con(s):

 

It looks like our media masters will have to redouble their efforts.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AP: Who (The Hell) Are These Protesters?”

  1. Steve says:

    I especially loved the first photo.

  2. proreason says:

    When the msm has to fess up to the truth, you know the cat is out of the bag.

    Except this time…………..it’s a tiger.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    “A USA Today/Gallup Poll released Wednesday found that most Americans believe the protesters’ sentiments are genuine …”

    Might that be because most Americans ARE protesting this debacle? Hmmmm!

    Methinks so!


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