As the health care reform debate becomes more heated, several of our esteemed representatives and senators are hiding in the tall grass of our Democratic friends hoping not to get metaphorically poached. They are pretending that meeting with their own political allies and operatives will give them cover in the future by arguing they did meet with their constituents and citizens. Of course this is patently untrue. They, like our vaunted president, are placing plants within their faux town hall meetings and like a well-directed play, performing a Shakespearean drama. Such behavior is not only disingenuous but dangerous. It means we are witnessing a divorce of the power elites from the people they serve. Perhaps a little political theater will flush the prairie chickens out.
If they refuse to attend real town hall meetings with the real citizens, perhaps we should bring the meeting to them. We can have a meeting, invite them to attend, and should they deem it unwise, conduct the meeting with a proxy picture of them as a stand in. We can tape the meeting with our comments and concerns and post it to Youtube and send them a copy. These ‘Analog’ town meetings will expose them for the cowards they are. A moderator can announce the senator or representative, read from their posted website policy statement, and have the people present express their ideas to the picture.
This should be done above board. Make sure you’ve actually asked them to the meeting so when they don’t show they have no political cover. Have the moderator repeatedly ask the meeting to keep it polite as to highlight the actual concerns and ideas without raucous behavior. Then, make sure there is follow up with the official in question.
This will do a few things. First, it will point out that we are sincere in our attempts to communicate with the said representative or senator. Second, it will show they are making no real effort to reach out to us. Third, we are not taking this lying down. And finally, and most importantly, we are not going away. By ignoring us they are doing more political damage to themselves than they are to us. We are the ones engaging and they are the ones ignoring us.
It needn’t be a long forum. It needn’t be all negative. In fact, including disparate voices would lend authenticity to the proceeding. We are not saying there are not reasons for health care reform, only that their policy proposals are not necessary nor helpful. We cannot let them just brush us aside like a gnat or wasp. We are their bosses and it is time for them to come to a meeting and justify their existence in the political world.
Let the games begin.