Urges civilized debate on health care

To the editor:

Georgia has finally made headline news in the health care debate. Unfortunately, neither Georgia, nor rational discussion, has been advanced by the "speaker's" tactic. Someone painted a swastika on a sign outside Rep. David Scott's office in what seems to have been in response to the congressman's position on universal health care. I, like many (but certainly not all) Georgians, oppose government-run health care - or a "public option" for those readers who take offense to plain language. There is no new twist in my opposition that you have not heard from so many others, so I need not outline my objections to the plan. Suffice it to say, I oppose the plan in all of the forms it has been offered.

Notwithstanding the fact that I oppose the plan, I am appalled at the lack of civility so many of my fellow citizens have been demonstrating in the past weeks. I doubt there is a grand conspiracy to organize them at the town hall meetings, but conspiracy or otherwise, the protesters' behavior is embarrassing. Didn't your parents teach you better than to behave like that? Shouting down state representatives does nothing to further your cause. Yes, politicians have been known to lie to their constituents, and, yes, you are at least keeping them from propagating their rhetoric. But keeping them from speaking lets your opponents paint you as the bad guy who is afraid of hearing the truth.

Remember, everyone is not on your side. You are not going to change the mind of a politician, but you may influence another voter. Silencing the speaker leaves your neighbor wondering what the speaker would have said had he (/she for the p.c. police) been given the chance. There are no good selling points to this monstrosity, so let the speaker try to peddle this garbage. When you overrun the meeting by "exercising your First Amendment rights," you let the congressmen off the hook.

I would hush up if it were only New Yorkers acting like typical Yankees, but this is Georgia. Where are your manners?

DAVID LOCKHART

Forest Park