Grassroots Groups or Astroturf Agitators?

Grassroots Groups or Astroturf Agitators?

Grassroots Groups or Astroturf Agitators?

Nation blogger Melissa Harris-Lacewell tries to get to the bottom of right wing anger on display at healthcare town halls around the country.


Nation contributor and Princeton professor Melissa
talks to Keith Olbermann about the cultural anger
behind the conservative mobs
at healthcare town hall
meetings. Harris-Lacewell explains that
research has shown that in times of change, people’s anxiety about
that change can be channeled into “racial, moral, and political
intolerance.” She notes that in a crowd of people shouting angrily
about one issue, there will be some who are just opposed to anything
the other party proposes, some dealing with these deep-seated
anxieties, and some with very personal financial stakes in the game.
As Olbermann points out, people showing up to town hall meetings with
healthcare industry T-shirts on or telling reporters that their local
Republican party official told them to come are not exactly being
secretive about their motivation.

Sarah Jaffe

Check out more great Nation videos on our YouTube channel.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that moves the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories to readers like you.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy