Are town halls useless? | The Tylt
Since the 2016 election, there has been mounting pressure for elected representatives to hold town halls with their constituents. Many credit town halls for persuading Republican lawmakers to reconsider their stance on repealing the Affordable Care Act. But critics claim town halls are useless political theatre where activists shout down representatives without actually accomplishing anything. What do you think? 🗣
Are town halls useless?
Grassroots organizations such as Indivisible and Town Hall Project have been mobilizing citizens to participate in the political process by attending town halls. There have been many viral interactions between citizens and their representatives at town hall meetings, but according to Town Hall Project, nearly half of Republicans have yet to hold a town hall since President Donald Trump was elected.
The numbers, shared exclusively with Mic, show 142 Republican members of the House and Senate have yet to hold a town hall. Of the 242 Democrats, 217 have held at least one.
But many Republican representatives are defending their decision to hold heavily-restricted meetings or not to hold town halls at all. Senator Marco Rubio claimed he wouldn't hold a town hall because "people get rude and stupid." Other Republicans have cited security concerns among other reasons.
“I will not risk public safety to entertain individuals that have no desire to respectfully discuss important issues,” Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) told a Dallas Morning News watchdog columnist this week about why he's not holding a town hall nor advertising his office location. “The only complaints received are from members of the obstructionist group — Indivisible.”
But many believe representatives must hold town halls so they can answer to their constituents.
We need more of this- holding ALL of Congress accountable for their actions or lack thereof, no matter the party, THEY work for US! Remember— BlissBae (@btweet2all) September 3, 2017
any representative who refuses to answer to his/her constituents must be voted out of office.— jo it's me (@UseJoBrain) September 8, 2017
Others think town halls are useless, and do nothing to change the minds of elected officials.
Why? To be irrationally shouted down by people who don't know how to debate or discuss matters like adults? Whats the point?— Chris Johnson (@ckjbg) September 8, 2017
I find these Town Halls useless. Do they expect something different from leaderless Ryan? I think not.— Asha (@roti4so) August 22, 2017
Town halls have become useless. They are nothing but a opportunity for paid leftist activists to do what Democrats do. Be loud for nothing.— Ted Bush (@TedBush1) July 11, 2017