This letter is in response to the letter to the editor entitled, “I have a right to let my voice be heard” and is in reference to the town hall meeting with Rep. Jim Hagedorn on Saturday, Feb. 22. I agree with the writer that all have a right to be heard. However, does this right include yelling, finger pointing and bullying? No, it does not!
Some background is required to understand what transpired at the Feb. 22 town hall meeting. As we entered the meeting, we were given the opportunity to fill out a card with a question on it for Rep. Hagedorn. The cards were placed in a bowl, randomly drawn out and read by the moderator.
Rep. Hagedorn then responded to the inquiry or concern and could address the constituent as necessary. This is an orderly process. However, a few individuals yelled out questions and seemed determined to engage the congressman in a lengthy dialogue. These individuals were looking for a debate with Rep. Hagedorn at the expense of other constituents who were unable to have their concerns addressed in the time allotted. It was evident these individuals were there to disrupt the meeting and target our congressman — they did so by yelling, interrupting and bullying.
Additionally, when Rep. Hagedorn addressed the concerns of these few distractors, it clearly was not the response that they wanted to hear. Does this then give these individuals a right to badger a congressional leader into changing his/her stance? No, it does not, and, yes, that is bullying. It should be noted that Rep. Hagedorn remained respectful and calm during these tirades.
A word of advice — Instead of yelling, interrupting and bullying, come with well-thought out questions/concerns — not ideological rhetoric! If you do this in a respectful manner, maybe more people will listen. Now that is democracy in action.