Firsthand Account: the Social Security Debate in North Carolina

The Social Security Reform Debate is heating up in North Carolina. Our Freedom Works activists are making it happen.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) hosted a forum on 2/28/05 to address the concerns of citizens regarding the Social Security issue. When our activists made up the bigger part of the audience, obviously the debate shifted from its original intent.

Two of our activists were invited to join the panel for a round table discussion. The remaining participants were made up of a combination of students and AARP members.

Our activists were able to share information that would not have been explained had we not been there. We were able to correct the misinformation and challenge many of the assumptions by some of the participants as well as the Congressman.

The discussion was lively. Some of the students had some really interesting comments. Some of them were living in another world with their vision of how the Social Security system really works, but some were right on target. We even recruited a few Freedom Works new members from the group.

One of our activists had some interesting comments. His belief is that it is a family responsibility to care for our elders and should not be an entitlement from the government. Of course, many of us might agree, but we realize that’s not a realistic goal at this time. This is the time, however, when reform can happen.

The audience at the forum was not what the Congressman had planned, I’m sure. I think the preference would have been that only one side of the issue is discussed. But our activists were there to make certain that the truth was told.

Maybe I am a little naïve or maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I detected some softening on the issue by Rep. Miller. His passion against the President’s ideas didn’t seem to be as prevalent as the week before at the forum in Raleigh. This time he laid out the ideas and asked for comments and discussion. It was quite a change from the demagoguery of the week before.

Could we be making progress? Perhaps, but we still have a long way to go.