Dear GOP: Cancel the town hall meetings
It’s a sad statement on the current condition of our democracy but the recent unending tide of well-funded and carefully coordinated “protests” by liberals angry over the defeat of Hillary Clinton have led me to one inescapable conclusion. Members of Congress, at least for the time being, need to do away with town hall meetings. This is unfortunate because the public really should have the opportunity to meet with, hear from and engage in civil discussion of the issues of the day with their elected representatives. Sadly, the word “civil” no longer applies when it comes to the highly organized minions of George Soros and their all too frequently successful attempts to turn such opportunities for conversation into cheap political theater and additional opportunities for the media to spin a negative narrative about the new administration.
If I wasn’t convinced of this before, the message really set in for me when I read about yet another such protest taking place in what I would’ve expected to be one of the most unlikely areas. In the very rural North country of New York State you can find the 21st Congressional District. Representing the district is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, Elise Stefanik. (We interviewed her in 2015 if you’d care to listen.) As with many representatives from the Empire State, the Congresswoman is of a more moderate bent and probably one of the members of the House of Representatives with whom liberal voters would have the fewest quarrels (at least as compared to her more hard-core conservative colleagues from the South). That didn’t stop the Soros crew however, and they showed up outside her office this week demanding a public meeting for no other reason than the chance to embarrass her. (Sun Community News)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) is not immune from the groundswell of activism from progressive groups that have roiled the country since President Trump’s inauguration last month.
Nearly 100 people gathered for a rally outside of the lawmaker’s Glens Falls office on Tuesday afternoon to urge Stefanik to hold a town hall meeting with area residents, and respond to their concerns about the Trump administration’s recent actions.
“Where is Elise? With Donald Trump!” protesters chanted.
The rally, which at times included loud and angry voices as well as smiles and polite proclamations, saw citizens voicing concerns across a variety of fronts, including over possible changes in health care, Medicare, Social Security and possible rollbacks in environmental regulations.
Reading through the comments made by the protesters and looking at the signs they were displaying, it’s obvious what was going on here. Nobody was looking for a conversation. Nobody wanted a frank discussion with some give-and-take. This was a political stunt, just the same as the rest we’ve seen taking place around the country. Fortunately, Stefanik set an example which I hope the rest of the members of Congress will follow. Check out her response when the press asked her about the demands of the protesters. (Emphasis added)
Stefanik said she has participated in over 500 district events, and has hosted hundreds of constituent meetings in Washington, D.C. while in legislative session.
But many activists have been disruptive, she said.
“I believe in free speech and our ability to gather together and make our voices heard. However, it’s unfortunate and counterproductive that a small number of activists believe the best way to address the very serious issues facing our country is to hijack and ambush community events for the sole purpose of political theater.”
Stefanik said protesters have repeatedly harassed her staff and have personally targeted specific staff members.
“This type of intentionally disruptive behavior is unacceptable and unhelpful to civil public discourse. If it gets out of hand, we will continue to contact local law enforcement and U.S. Capitol Police,” she said.
That’s exactly correct. She was polite but firm and clearly pointed out that the real harm being done was not taking place in her office or in the White House but in the halls of the liberal mob seeking to turn the open democratic process into a joke for their own benefit. Any one of those protesters, assuming they had a serious question about policy, could’ve contacted her office directly and spoken with someone handling constituent services. I’ve done it numerous times and it works. But that’s not what they wanted. They want a target to show up in a public area with lots of cameras.
Stefanik has the luxury of not needing to worry too much about the rabble in the streets outside her office. They only managed to muster less than 100 of them out of the entire district. She won her first election with 53% of the vote in a three-way race and followed that up in 2016 with an even more impressive 66%. She is in no danger of losing her seat. Not all members of Congress are so lucky, but sadly they will probably have to follow a similar course in the future.