To the Editor: Health care protests require history lesson
Written by John L. Turkal   
Friday, 21 August 2009 08:30
Most people reading this weren't old enough or born when the events I speak about occurred. As I watch the various outrageous protestors at Town Hall Meetings on Health Care I am reminded of what we were taught in the late 1940's and early 1950's on threats to America.
Regardless of the four grade schools I attended in Wisconsin and Ohio, public or parochial, we were taught to be especially suspicious of organized groups who disrupted Town Hall or other types of meetings held to inform the public, governmental or otherwise. Our nation was concerned about a communist attempt to over throw our government. The Cold War had just begun. Radio Moscow could be heard in most of the country if you had a short wave radio and many did own one.
The American Public still remembered how the National Socialists and Fascist had over throw the democratic governments of Germany, Italy and Spain with similar tactics. World War II had just ended and these were still vivid memories. As youngsters we were shown films and taught that groups of people who came into a meeting to purposefully disrupt, intimidate and prevent others from hearing the information being presented should be suspected of being Un-American. In fact the House of Representatives had a committee named that, The Committee for Un-American Activities, which threw as many innocent people to the lions as the Romans did in the Circus Maxima in order to protect the nation. Prominent Religious Leaders, Bishop Sheen was one, were on TV weekly promoting faith and anti-communism. Politicians who crossed the line were censored as Wisconsin's Senator Joe McCarthy was.
So I view with suspicion the motives of those who disrupt these meetings and attempt to intimidate their fellow citizens by carrying firearms to these gatherings.
This surely isn't the American way to resolve disputes by distorting facts and information. I give no credibility to these people.  Rather I view them with the same suspicion I was taught to view communists and radical fascists in my youth.  An organized group exploiting the First Amendment to under cut or over throw the lawful government of the United States of America.
John L. Turkal
Bowling Green

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