Washington (CNN) - Americans have always exercised their Democratic rights under the U.S. Constitution to speak out against the government.
Amid the bitter fight over health care reform, a round of hate-filled messages and sometimes violent actions toward members of Congress has prompted calls to ease up on the rhetoric.
Experts say that although protests against social issues such as health care reform are nothing new for the country, such reaction to a landmark bill's passing is uncommon.
"It's unusual that you get this kind of outrage and response to a piece of legislation," said historian Robert Dallek, author of the upcoming book "The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope."
"Of course, it's being fanned in some ways by Republican leaders who keep saying majorities are against this legislation, when in fact there is a pretty even divide in the country, from what the polling data shows," he added.
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