Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
While few members of Congress are holding public town hall meetings this summer, those that are upholding their civic responsibility to their constituents are being accosted by incivility. The “broken state of town hall meetings,” The Washington Post reports, is indicative of a much greater problem in our increasingly hyper-partisan political system.
Politics has become a contentious game of who can yell the loudest, instead of a discussion with give and take. Citizens have found that they can get their point across by being the loudest; in New Hampshire, Rep. Guinta couldn’t even get a word in to “finish a thought” in his own town hall meetings.
Hyper-partisan groups like MoveOn and the Tea Party are urging their members to make noise at town halls. Because of this, “An event that was once all about listening has become all about shouting. It now counts as a defeat if one’s opponent is allowed to make a point in peace.”
It’s clear that America is angry with the divisive game politicians have been playing in Washington -- but yelling doesn’t help. It merely gives elected officials an excuse to ignore their constituents and stop holding public meetings. It’s even more dangerous “congressmen take away the message that America is just as estranged and divided as their town hall meetings,” says David A. Fahrenthold, at The Washington Post.
Make your voice heard by holding a civil discussion with your lawmaker and call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to arrange an in-person meeting or attend a public town hall. Make sure Congress hears from all Americans, not just the hyper-partisan extremes.