My Tucson Town Hall Experience


Let me start from the beginning. I pulled into the place at about 4:15 and there was already a line that was reaching  around the building, for a meeting that started at 6:00. So I hopped in line and was greeted by an older gentlemen that I’d say was about 55 years. He was a jovial, tall man, that laughed like Herman Munster, and was interested in hearing what was going on. He greeted me with some kind words “Man, I feel sorry for you young people!” Right then I knew where he stood on the issue.
Signage 1
In front of me were a couple of older women in their 60’s that were firmly against the public option. In front of them was an older man, that was obviously in favor of the public option, I only knew this because he was in front of me on the way in, judging by his bumper stickers he doesn’t like George W. Bush. Behind me, there was another couple of old ladies that were firmly in favor of the public option. Behind those women were some loud mouth conservatives, spouting out how much they were against the public plan, doing their best Michael Savage imitation.

So we were all just standing in line when it started to rain, something that hasn’t happened in Tucson in quite a while, so that was odd. The rain didn’t stop us, we continued to stand in line.

Finally we made it inside, but only after having another bout with the rain. The room was nice, it was cool inside, and I took a seat toward the back on the isle so I could leave early.

I was sitting down and a woman, clearly in favor of the public option, sat next to me. She commented on how nice it was to see a young person at a town hall meeting, and I replied with my usual, a quiet thank you. We got to talking, I was trying not to talk about politics with the person that I had to spend the next two hours with, and it actually worked. We talked about hiking in Tucson, how boring it is for young people and New York City.

The meeting finally started. After a good half hour of introducing, politically correct praying, and many futile pleas for the crowd to settle down, the show was on. They started by drawing some tickets for those who were going to be allowed to ask questions. The irony of the thought that many years from now we could be using the same procedure to allow for doctor visits was humorous and scary all at the same time.

People started asking questions, some of them were good and some were bad, some were very annoyed and some were just inane. Like the guy that tried to bring Cuba into the argument. Cuba, a country that has 11 million people and a communist state no less. He was quickly booed, but he continued on in a very emotional rant against the right and in favor of Obamacare. Then there was a guy that suggested we clean house in the next election, I think he received the longest applause at about 30 seconds.

At times I felt a bit disheartened. I guess it was juxtaposing the calm, intelligent, and civil conversation with my neighbor, and the few people on both sides that would just yell at the completely wrong time. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the 1st amendment, I love good debate, and even booing and applause. But timing is everything, it would just be easier if people would understand that yelling from your seat accomplishes nothing.

For the most part people got along, conservatives were talking to liberals and liberals to conservatives, but those few that so often get the attention of the media really irked me. I had to leave early, but the experience was great, something that every American should do at some point in their life.

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One Response to “My Tucson Town Hall Experience”

  1. Roger Greer Says:

    I agree with most of what you say. However, I think it was great for all of booing and cheering. I know personally after all that I’ve read of other town hall meetings, this seems the best. A lot of people had had pent up emotions that were letting out. We felt that with slanted media, we were not getting our word out.
    Kudos for Giffords for the organization. I thought it was done fairly

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