Angry responses go too far on health care

Our View

“If I could start a country with a bunch of people, they’d be the folks who were standing with us the last few days. Let’s hope we don’t have to do that! Let’s beat that other side to a pulp! Let’s take them out. Let’s chase them down. There’s going to be a reckoning!”

No, these are not the words of an Aryan Brotherhood leader or a memo from some radical terrorist organization. Rather, this was said by Iowa’s own U.S. Rep. Steve King soon after the House’s recent passing of the health care bill.

This is just one instance in what has been a slew of threatening and inappropriate responses in the wake of the controversial bill. Even closer to home, Waterloo’s own U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat and proponent of the bill, has received threats of physical violence that have forced him to meet with Capitol police. Nationally, the death threats and harassment have amounted to 10 members of Congress being offered law enforcement protection. A New York Democrat’s office was evacuated after a suspicious letter containing white powder was discovered. Last Wednesday over 100 House Democrats met with U.S. Capitol police and FBI officials regarding security measures.

We feel that the recent response to healthcare reform is entirely inappropriate and unproductive. Admittedly there are debatable aspects to the bill, as any initiative of this scale would contain. The reaction we are seeing, however, is far from a thoughtful, civil and reasoned analysis. No matter the issue, political debate should be devoid of personal threats and harassment. Put simply, don’t hate the politician, hate the bill.

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