I’ve been catching up on these health care town halls and am fascinated and worried by the level of anger, tension, fear and distrust spewing forth from some of the attendees. Few demonstrate this better than Craig Miller, made famous by his behavior at Sen. Arlen Specter’s recent town hall in Pennsylvania.

Miller looks the part of the demographic that is most afraid of what it will lose under Obama, not solely in racial terms but in economic and general terms of power. Miller is an older white male, and seeing him in the Specter session as well as his MSNBC interview, I see a man who is terrified, truly terrified, that he’s losing what he might have once had. He’s losing his voice. He’s losing his privilege. He’s losing his understanding of how this country is “supposed” to work and possibly for whom it is supposed to work.

Miller relies on some directionally accurate statements and understandable skepticism of government, but he extends this into outrageous claims that Obama has violated his oath, trampled the Constitution etc. This is the commentary we see mirrored in many of the loudest townhall disruptors: “we are losing our country” and “I don’t want to live in Russia.” These statements are absurd, but the fear out of which they are born is quite real.

What’s most sad is that the loss many of these people fear and attribute falsely to Obama began long ago and is much more a result of the commercialization of health care specifically and unregulated business generally. Many people, possibly like Craig Miller, came of age in a different time with a different understanding of how the economy was supposed to work and the obligations of employers etc. Globalization and progress in general have made many of them feel completely out of place. On top of this, the “information” many of these folks are getting is pure, malicious propaganda from parties who have zero interest in solving problems and every interest in derailing anything attached to the word Obama.

Though some of these people’s fears have some origin in reality or at least understandable, the true sadness is that most of these folks are just getting played,

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