There's a famous Norman Rockwell painting titled "Freedom of Speech," depicting an idealized American town meeting. The painting, part of a series illustrating F.D.R.'s "Four Freedoms," shows an ordinary citizen expressing an unpopular opinion. His neighbors obviously don't like what he's saying, but they're letting him speak his mind.

That's a far cry from what has been happening at recent town halls, where angry protesters -- some of them, with no apparent sense of irony...

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.