Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting a sense of the political landscape on Long Island

I have recently moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, heavily Democratic, to more conservative Suffolk County, Long Island. Although Carla and I certainly aren't fully moved in yet, I am taking the opportunity to become acquainted with some of the local communities. One thing that disturbs me is the xenophobic orientation of many residents. I see this particularly strongly in the organized resistance to President Barak Obama's efforts to reform our health care system. Although I was unable to attend any of the town meetings because of the move, I have heard a great deal about them through the local media. Up close analysis becomes available through YouTube clips such as the following, shot before and during a town meeting in Setauket, Long Island. On the other side of Stony Brook University from Port Jefferson Station, this is an old community - one of the beauty spots of Long Island. But as you can see, it is also becoming politically polarized over the issue of health care reform.

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