Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Curious Case of the Health Care Heckler

Tonight, President Obama delivered a comprehensive speech on the infamous Health Care debate to a joint session of Congress. Many pundits calculated whether the President would be able to bring the health care debate back from the brink with this speech tonight; some labeled it the most important speech of his career. (see video below)

In what should have been a dignified and civil address by a Nation's President to its representative leaders, an outburst of unprecedented disrespect was hurled at the President mid-speech by one of the elected members of Congress: Representative Joe Wilson, Republican - South Carolina. (pictured right)

Over the years we've tuned into our fair share of Presidential addresses to Congress. You may have done the same. And if you have, then you know that the appropriate form of support or criticism by either side of the aisle in Congress is displayed through the traditional response of applause or the lack thereof. If you agree with the President, then you applaud. If you disagree with the President, then you withhold your applause. It's simple, it's respectful, and it has been that way for as long as the President has been addressing the body of Congress.

What you do not do in the United States of America when the President of the United States of America is formally addressing the Congress of the United States of America is interrupt his or her speech like some kind of town hall meeting.

When the President and other dignitaries in our society walk into a room, people stand up. When addressing the President, people say "Mr. President." It is a sign of respect for the office, regardless of the person who occupies it.

During President Obama's address, he addressed some of the myths and misconceptions that have pervaded the Health Care debate for far too long. One of the urban legends that he laid to rest was that the Health Care Reform proposal will not benefit illegal immigrants. Upon stating this fact, Rep. Joe Wilson shouted from across the room "You Lie!" Everybody heard it; some people even started booing the Congressman.

It is difficult to remember a more disrespectful or non-patriotic act exhibited by an American during such a formal occasion. Yes we live in America where people are free to say whatever they want (within reason, that is) and that includes being critical of the President, but the bottom line is, this was neither the time nor the place for such shenanigans. Mr. Wilson, you dishonor your President, you dishonor yourself, you dishonor the State of South Carolina, and most of all, you dishonor your Country.

Contact Representative Joe Wilson HERE and give him a piece of your mind.

Watch the Full Health Care Reform Speech:

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