Why do we love Congressman Barney Frank? Not only because he is the funniest male member of Congress, although that counts for a lot. (Congresswoman Linda Sanchez wins the prize for funniest female member of Congress.) Cong. Frank has attained that stage in life where he says what most politicians are afraid to say.
Last night at a town hall meeting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts a woman said that the health care reform effort was akin to what the Nazis did, deciding who should live or die. To illustrate her point, literally, she has a picture of President Obama that had been altered to make him look like Adolph Hitler. She repeatedly called reform effort a “Nazi policy.” Congressman Frank asked the woman what planet she spends most of her time living on and that he would just as soon argue with a dining room table as engage her argument, such as it was. You can see the video clip here, and it only takes two minutes.
One of the problems with what has been called the “dictatorship of relativism” is that some people think it is fine to assert crazy ideas, ridiculous and offensive metaphors, and bogus arguments, and insist that they be engaged. As Cong. Frank pointed out, it is a tribute to our love of the First Amendment that such nonsense is allowed even a bit of air. No one is suggesting the crazed woman in Dartmouth be imprisoned or exiled, but it is fair to say, as the congressman said, that it is beyond futile and no aid to democracy to engage in discussion with someone who insists the sun rises in the West. It doesn’t. People are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.