1. Home
  2. Community
  3. Some reactions to healthcare reform are an invitation to anarchy

Some reactions to healthcare reform are an invitation to anarchy


Some legislators who voted for healthcare reform have had bricks thrown through the windows of their district offices. A New York congressman got a threatening letter and an envelope filled with a suspicious white powder. Protestors put a coffin in front of the home of another member. Two Indiana congressmen have been getting death threats directed at their families and staffs.

Although these news stories were carried by the national media, there’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at such Congressmen as the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. As the week dragged on and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the FBI and local police departments had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

The tsunami of anger gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than Medicare—an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: The healthcare bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. In fact, the current surge of anger—and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism—predate the entire healthcare debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “Traitor!” and “Off with his head!” at Sarah Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have since spiraled, from Texas governor Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Texas Tea Party rally, to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama healthcare rallies last summer, to “You lie!” piercing the President’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot. And now we have former Vice Presidential candidate Palin putting members of Congress in the crosshairs of her rifle in a Facebook post, and urging people to “Reload!” At least four members have received death threats.

This isn’t about health insurance reform any more (if it ever was). It’s about the breakdown of civil society, which if left unchecked is an invitation to anarchy. The United States is a nation of laws and of respect for law. If we don’t agree with our lawmakers, we vote against them in the next election. We decidedly do not throw bricks through their windows, threaten them or their families, or spit upon their persons!


7 Comments. Leave new

  • Louise Moondancer
    July 23, 2010 3:04 am

    It saddens me to see that people continue to be caught in a name calling game when we have so much need for intelligent dialogue. The kind of behavior that leads to name calling, racism and threats accurately applies to “goon”. This country is so easily distracted by the insane lies told about healthcare reform. Before we start talking about ignorance, how about reading the bill. Maybe then we can have meaningful dialogue and start working toward delivering health care to those in need.

  • nurseratched
    June 2, 2010 11:28 pm

    The ANA is little more than a left-wing political activist organization. The voice of nursing – what a joke. That primarily applies if you’re a progressive liberal nurse(or an ignorant one). The journal editor openly quoted Karl Marx for inspiration, lovely. I was appalled at the president’s claim that ‘nurses’ wanted this healthcare reform legislation. America will be bankrupt because of out of control spending. The legislation is not worth the cost. You will see.

  • Honestly – you are going to judge an article (or an editor) by how many “likes” it gets?? What is this – high school? Let’s look at the real issue – the right wing is allowed to be as vitriolic as it wants but as soon as it gets criticized, it cries “unfair” and blames the critique for being “one-sided” when the right has been one-sided all along. We need to get the facts and stop all this hyperbole. What has happened to reasonable, informed debate in this country??

  • ANA promoted and touted nobama care so vigorously, never caring all the pork and invasion of rights it contained, that ANA has no right to call anyone a goon.
    It’s because of all the other crap written into this so-called ‘reform’ that many of us are so against it. It’s passing behind closed doors certainly carries very negative connotations. Talk about domestic terrorism ~ check your great leaders lately?

  • The real truth is I didn’t see very many “likes” on facebook for this article. Time to find a new editor.

  • It is not one-sided. Its a fact that there has been an increase in right-wing extremism and Im glad to see this article tell it like it is. This type of extremism is domestic terrorism- it will not be tolerated.

  • I think this article is one sided and is judging a whole group of people over a few people’s actions. Just because a group of people doesn’t like the healthcare bill doesn’t mean they are going to get violent. When rights are being violated by “forcing” people to buy healthcare when they are jobless and starving then that is what causes issues. It comes down to basic needs, feeding a child or ones self is going to come before mandated insurance.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

cheryl meeGet your free access to the exclusive newsletter of American Nurse Journal and gain insights for your nursing practice.

NurseLine Newsletter

  • Hidden

*By submitting your e-mail, you are opting in to receiving information from Healthcom Media and Affiliates. The details, including your email address/mobile number, may be used to keep you informed about future products and services.

Recent Posts