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Anger: It’s all the rage August 12, 2009

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.
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I knew I was in trouble the moment I heard it. Something in my voice—a hitch, I guess—that signaled a crack in my restraint. It was at a meeting with colleagues sometime within the past few years, and the tone of the conversation was making my blood boil. In defense of my position, I showed anger. Perhaps that’s why I won the argument. But what did I lose in return?

Though nothing major, there were consequences. For one, I never adequately debriefed that exchanged, so a professional relationship remains strained today. And I still sense an impact to my confidence. Does my transparency forsake my true feelings? That can be dangerous for somebody working in a public relations capacity.

But why worry? Anger is, if you’ll pardon the pun, all the rage. Just yesterday, I watched on TV as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a student from the Congo who reportedly asked for her husband’s opinion on an issue of foreign policy.

I’m a huge fan of Secretary Clinton, dating back to her service as New York’s junior senator, so I’m sympathetic to her situation. I imagine that jet lag and other factors, including the inappropriateness of the question as it was relayed, led to the terse reply, but it was not her most shining moment. Will it cost here a level of credibility? I hope not, but it sure is more ammunition for her political enemies.

Health Care Overhaul DingellBut here’s where I lose a little more of my restraint. Lately, it has sickened me to see these idiots at congressional town hall meetings shouting out their alleged outrage as it relates to health care reform. I suspect much of it is disingenuous, intended more as a means to facilitate “Obama’s Waterloo.” Meanwhile, this ongoing spectacle overshadows efforts to address a critical need for this country.

I understand there are legitimate concerns about how such reforms are to be implemented and will ultimately play out, and I’ll let brighter minds than mine debate the specifics. But what I want to address is the complete lack of etiquette that now defines the ‘stop health care reform’ movement. It’s the typical strategy—create fear over ‘government control’ and the ‘loss of personal liberties.’ Spare me! What about the fate of those who lack coverage at no fault of their own? Must be a little too inconvenient to factor in their liberties.

I’m fortunate. My employer offers great benefits. But what about the future? And what about the millions of other Americans not as luck as me? A window of opportunity has opened to make changes, and I believe there’s a moral obligation to get this addressed—somehow, some way. So let’s discuss. It’s okay to disagree, but let’s make sure all points of view are heard.

Americans shouting down other Americans—I guess it makes for compelling television, but what do we lose in return?

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