What’s a town hall meeting all about?


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Town hall meetings are a long-standing tradition in the United States. It is reported that some small New England towns still have town hall meetings, in which members of the community gather and ask their candidates and elected officials whatever questions they want and keep after the officials until they give the community a full answer.

In a related matter, U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin brought his lecture series to Durant at noon on April 7th in the Donald W. Reynolds Library and Community Center.

Speaking to an audience of mostly older Bryan County residents, Mullin, age 39, opened his talk with a 15-minutes explanation of how we can all get along despite our political differences. Reminds a person of being back in the third grade and having the teacher tell you how to line up to go the rest room— “No fighting in the hallway, children.” He announced that, after he told us how to behave, he would allow questions from among those gathered for the event. The essence of his plan for political harmony can be summarized briefly: “You may question what I say and do, but you cannot question my motives.”

The end of the opening lecture did not bring on the end of lectures. Except for one, his answers to questions from the audience were mini-lectures. Questioners could not ask him follow-up questions, nor could they even request clarification of what he said. Questioners came to a microphone at the front of the room and were told to sit down immediately after asking, while he lectured for up to 10 minutes. However, Mullin did not announce what punishment he would administer to those audience members who didn’t mind.

One questioner walked out, and another questioner later remarked that we should all have walked out. Happily, no other class members were naughty.

A final note: In an oddity of pre-event publicity, the lecture was billed as a “town hall.”

Joe Littlejohn

Durant

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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