People’s Column

Manners missing

at meeting

Editor, OBSERVER:

High-jacked! What was slated as a Town Hall with Congressman Tom Reed turned into organized mob rule. It was an embarrassing display of many rude and obnoxious liberals shouting and using orchestrated chanting to drown out Reed’s remarks. Frankly, it was ugly behavior!

An overflow crowd at Ashville forced the Town Hall to be held outside. Phalanxed by liberals who were early arrivers, they surrounded Mr. Reed who attempted to speak through a microphone system near the entrance to the building. The only questions Mr. Reed addressed were those from a couple of strident women standing near him.

This was not democracy in action as is customary for a Town Hall. This was mob rule, heightened emotions, bad manners, and incivility controlling what should have been an opportunity to hear various points of view. Mr. Reed attempted to explain his position on issues. Whenever he said something with which liberals disagreed, however, shouts and chanting ensued, overwhelming him and those who had come to listen and participate in proper Town Hall etiquette.

Their lack of civility is reminiscent of Charles Schumer’s embarrassing behavior as Senate Minority Leader. One does not expect an individual elected to such high office to engage in tactics which he himself labeled “Scorched-Earth Strategy” and “Fight Tooth-and-Nail.” These are vindictive behaviors and have no place in what should be a peaceful transition of government. Mr. Schumer has forgotten the lessons his mother taught him as a child: “Play nice,” and “Don’t be a sore loser.” The charge of “unprecedented obstruction” has been leveled at Mr. Schumer and his Senate colleagues. Some Senators, thankfully, rejected his tactics, seeing that bipartisan collaboration is far more effective than vindictiveness.

It was unfortunate that Mr. Reed did not halt the Town Hall charade when he saw how disruptive and disrespectful many liberals in attendance were. Their objective was to overwhelm him and shut down the Town Hall — and they did.

A true Town Hall fosters a spirit of respect for the elected official and permits those in attendance, without jeers and interruption, to make their points and to allow the official to respond. Liberals ignored civil discourse and engaged in a disgusting display of boorish behavior. In an atmosphere of civil discourse, their opinions would have been listened to by Reed and all who attended. They lost that opportunity with their loathsome behavior.

DEANN NELSON,

Jamestown

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