Attending our US Representative's recent town hall, conservatives witnessed what can only be termed a political lynching. The leftist groups in the area like “Indivisibles” and “Suit Up Wilmington” had been taunting our rep for awhile to hold a town hall by holding mock town halls, pasting “Wanted!” posters all over the district, sending him video messages and the like. These ideas are all very effective activism tools to be sure. The Representative took the bait. On Monday the 6th of March at 2PM he held a town hall in a rural venue that held 1200 people. It was standing room only. This venue is in the heart of very Republican Brunswick County and with a very “Red” district that spans 3 -4 hours of driving time from end to end, it’s not inconceivable people were bused in for the event or even lived outside the district.
When a few conservatives arrived to line up outside, everything looked calm. There were no signs, hats or buttons-- nothing to set anyone apart from anyone else. So we complied even though we were prepared with “Repeal Obamacare” signs and buttons. Once inside, the Congressman was greeting everyone at the door which set a good tone. Then, if you wanted to ask a question to the representative you were to take a raffle ticket which would then be drawn out of a hat. Little did we know, in our naiveté, that the leftists were directed to give all their question tickets to a handful of key activists who had prepared speeches and questions on all their hot button topics.
Right before the Congressman came on stage, a staff member read the rules. Questions were to be no longer than 30 seconds and no signs would be tolerated. The Congressman began with a slide showing the parts of Obamacare that couldn’t be repealed using reconciliation. This red meat he threw out to appease the hungry leftist lions was the only support he got. It devolved from there into a liberal feeding frenzy of jeers, booing, screaming, gotcha questions and speeches. Instead of following the rules, the Representative and his staff allowed the mob to dictate the tone, topics, and direction of the event and break every rule. To the Congressman's credit, he never lost his cool and tried to stick to his basic principles. I am wondering if his calm demeanor and lack of pushback actually saved the event from a breakout of violence.
We estimated there were maybe 50 out of 1200 in attendance who were Republicans or conservatives and in a largely Republican district, this seems out of kilter. Most of us left early because there was no point in being there and continue to have our ideas and values assaulted and challenged. Sitting there actually felt like physical assault. A friend who attended emailed me the next day, “I felt like I needed a political scrub-down after that experience on Monday…it was liberal progressivism on steroids.” Another friend said, “It’s good they don’t believe in guns!” I agree! It wasn’t a town hall it was a liberal pep rally of organized radicals who made a mockery of what should have been a respectful exchange of ideas.
And as was predictable, one of the rabble rousers decided to be the “adult in the room” and thank the Congressman for holding the event then used the false premise of saying she recalled attending town hall meetings in 2010-2011 when Tea Party members shouted down their representatives. She asked this crowd not to do the same. Uh huh. I organized and attended many Tea Party events and we never behaved this way. In short, this was the worst example of incivility and orchestrated public humiliation of an individual I have ever witnessed. Saul Alinsky would be very proud.
Unless and until we recognize we are in a cold war with what the late Andrew Breitbart termed the “Democrat Media Complex” who cannot accept the Trump victory, we will continue to have our voices drowned out. We must know our adversary and close ranks!
It remains to be seen if the fallout of this causes the Representative to hold more of these town halls or if that’s the end of it. And that would be unfair the Representative's true constituents from his mostly Republican district, who came to the event to have a professional discussion and ask legitimate questions but never had their voices heard. The mob will never vote for him anyway and no one walked away happy, so what was the point? If I were the Representative, one political lynching was enough!