During this August “Recess” we are frequently hearing about Republican Legislators holding “closed” Town Hall Meetings. In order to avoid the yelling and screaming that have become so commonplace on YouTube, they are instead letting political organizations charge nominal fees (say $10) for people to participate. The thought with this process is that it will keep out the protesters and ensure that those who are in the room are actually interested in discussion. While Democrats cry foul over this, they also encourage the yelling and shouting that is so disruptive and makes many Town Hall a waste of time for everyone else involved.
Perhaps the idea of giving to conservative organizations is being used as a deterrent for liberal protesters. If it is not, and is just political favoritism, I think the GOP is wasting a golden opportunity. It would be nice to see theses Congresspeople use their town halls as charitable activities rather than as a way to siphon money to friendly organizations that frankly don’t need the money. It would be nice to see that $500 to $1000 go to a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or a local Habitat for Humanity build.
I feel that too often the Republican and Democrats in who represent us in our states and in Washington tend to forget that they are their to serve the people of their community, not their parties or those who will vote for them in primaries. So, while I understand the tactics they use to keep the town halls orderly, I think that better options exist.