Opinion

Keep it civil at town hall on health care

Kitsapers and countrymen, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, will lend you his ears tomorrow. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North Kitsap High Auditorium, the congressman will lead a town hall to discuss how, why or if the country should overhaul its health care system.

Public discourse, when gone about correctly, is patriotic. When citizens show up with questions that facilitate discussion and provoke thought, that discussion can lead to solutions. However, when public discourse is seen as screaming at those with differing opinions, interrupting the flow of discussion and just generally behaving in a manner that we teach our children not to, that’s not productive.

Just because you’re loud doesn’t mean you’re right. It just means your facts have run low and your desperation high.

Many town halls nationwide about health care have erupted into chaos. Yes, health care is personal, emotional and financial. And we all agree that the current system needs work. Screaming and yelling will not get it done.

Fortunately, we have it on good authority that those who plan to attend the Poulsbo summit want to be involved in discussion and aren’t planning any political trickery.

Sandra LaCelle, chairwoman of the Kitsap Republican Party, acknowledged in an interview with the Herald that the meeting carries a considerable amount of public interest. She also called for civility from the attendees.

Disruption, she said, “really wastes everybody’s time.”

Whatever solution is out there will only be found with people from all different circumstances working together. And it’s awfully hard to pick out the good ideas if everyone is screaming.

If you plan on attending Inslee’s town hall tomorrow, take your indoor voices and don’t do anything you’d punish your child for doing.

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