REFOCUS ON THE REAL ISSUES

Politicians often place themselves in an ivory tower.† Even though they are supposed to represent the common people of their nation, they fall short of making a true connection.† It is the little quirky intricacies and common mistakes that bring the politicians down to our level.† But sometimes they do things that leave you thinking, ìWhat the hell?”

Last week Representative Joe Wilson made a faux pas that left this question lingering in most peopleís minds.† His outburst in Congress to President Obamaís speech on healthcare has put his name in the headlines along with what the media has coined as his new catch phrase: ìYou lie!”† This South Carolinian Republican apologized to the President immediately after the event, but now refuses to make a formal apology to Congress.† The Democrats are not tolerating his stubbornness.† They are demanding that he give an apology on the House floor this week.† Wilson, however, is still resisting, saying that he does not need to apologize again.

The political blogs are having a field day with this controversy.† I mean, this is better than Kanye West stealing the microphone from Taylor Swift while she was accepting her award at the Video Music Awards to give an inappropriately timed shout-out to BeyoncÈ! Everyone loves awkward ways for people to exercise their right to free speech.

Although many are arguing that this is purely an issue of free speech, it is not.† Itís not what was said by Wilson that is so shocking, but the setting in which he did it.† There are many acceptable forums to present criticism, but he chose the wrong one.† He broke decorum.† Heís not sitting on the steps of Bissman yelling at a passerby, he was sitting in the United States Congress, listening to a speech from the President.

And because this was such an unexpected bit of news, the focus has completely shifted from the actual issue of healthcare to the rift between Wilson and the House Democrats.† No longer are the front pages about the specific healthcare reforms, but instead they are lined with stories about Wilsonís latest comments and columns predicting what will happen next with the situation.† His 15 minutes of fame are distracting the country from what actually needs to be talked about.

We need to wrap it up, and realize how this outburst is actually affecting the nation. †If we are trying to move forward and make changes in our systems, then we need to actually do it instead of focusing on this purposeful distraction.† If someone wants to protest the current reforms, then they have every right to and should.† But donít try and turn CNN.com into PerezHilton.com.