Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Phone Home, Don't Protest There Either

With all of the excitement this past weekend, a few things slipped by. One of them was particularly disturbing. While the bad behavior in Washington, name calling and so on, did get some press, something closer to home didn't show up much in the Philly area media.

A group of people in favor of health care reform protested in front of Congressman Jason Altmire's home. Altmire himself was in DC but I'm not sure if his wife and children were home. You can read more at "Protesters march at Altmire's home," by Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/22.

I can understand the fervor of those protesting, and share their views on the issue, I disagree with their tactics. People's houses should be off limits, especially if they have young children. A bunch of strangers on the front sidewalk carrying signs, even if it is done politely, could be very scary to all kids on the street, not just the congressman's. It might alarm the elderly, the ill, those with developmental disorders, and so on. It's also difficult to keep that many people on the sidewalk if they are carrying signs and walking back and forth. They are bound to spill over onto the neighboring properties.

This behavior, in my view, alienates more people than it persuades. Parents of children frightened by the protesters are going to remember that far longer than they will remember what was being protested.

Let's keep it civil and leave people's children out of adult political disagreements.

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