In Chico we shout down anybody we don’t agree with

7 Aug

On the surface this looked like a nice crowd.  This was the opening prayer.

My husband and I decided to put aside chores this morning to attend a Q&A session with 1st District Congressman Doug LaMalfa at the Elks Lodge here in Chico. I don’t agree with him on very much but wanted to hear what he had to say.

And, it’s a very nice bike ride from our house to Manzanita Place, traveling along Lindo Channel. The temperatures have been hilariously cooler the last day or two, we didn’t even bust a sweat peddling along at 7:30 am.  We had our water and sunscreen and were determined to enjoy the morning regardless of politics.

What I wasn’t ready for, was the crowd that showed up.  You know me, I like to say it like it is, I like to use “colorful language”. But I refrain from standing up and screaming “Shut UP!” or “BULLSHIT!” when somebody else has the floor at a meeting. I mouth stuff and make faces, but I sit down and shut up.  I may be nasty here at the blog, but at public meetings I really try to respect the other person’s right to have their say, including our politicians.

Besides, you have to listen to these people to find out what they’re up to. LaMalfa opened the meeting quickly and courteously, with remarks about the progress Congress is having “reforming” the Affordable Healthcare Act – Obamacare. I had to agree with most of what he said, what I could hear, because at this point, less than 20 minutes into the meeting, the crowd started to go nuts. 

Frankly, I should have guessed what was going to happen, when the red cards went up during the opening prayer. It got pretty ugly, one man shouting “shut up and let us talk” while a woman behind us shouted “Bullshit!” to everything LaMalfa had to say. 

This folks, is public discourse in Northern California. I don’t get out of town much anymore, I don’t know how they do it in other congressional districts, but here we shout down anybody we don’t agree with. 

And here we’re made fun of in the LA Times.

4 Responses to “In Chico we shout down anybody we don’t agree with”

  1. bob August 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    It will get much worse.

    I bet in a few years the politicians won’t even have these meetings.

    The gooberment has hundreds of trillions in unfunded liabilities. The politicians have made way more promises than can ever possibly be kept.

    In fact the whole economy is one debt based ponzi scheme. When the ponzi outhouse burns to the ground in the next great recession/depression or whatever the media will call it and the gooberment can’t come through on its promises just think how angry people will be then.

    But I think for these recent town hall meetings it’s the lefts reaction to Trump winning. They are pretty pissed because all the so-called experts and the lamestream media told them Hillary would win in a landslide. They couldn’t possibly imagine Trump ever winning.

    • Juanita Sumner August 8, 2017 at 4:31 am #

      I wish they would direct and use their anger positively, I think LaMalfa could be moved by a strong but more polite crowd.

      I know this is a corny story but I’ll relate it – Ralph Nader’s mother wrote a great book – “It Happened in the Kitchen”. She tells one story about meeting her senator, who was sitting on a committee talking about flood control in the town where the Nader’s lived in Connecticut. At the end of the town hall meeting she just walked up to meet him and when he held out his hand she took it and would not let go. She held it firmly and shook it gently, looking him directly in the face as she told him how important the flood control project was to her family. This is how she developed a more personal rapport with the guy, getting a correspondence going, getting him to listen to her – their town got the project.

      I don’t agree with LaMalfa on much, but he’s our congressman and he’s got some voice in Washington, we need to keep a good rapport with the guy. You’re right – he’s one of the only congress people who is doing these town hall meetings, and it just pisses me off that outsiders from Redding, Nevada City, wherever, can steal our opportunity to make ourselves heard. I wanted to ask some pertinent questions about Sites Reservoir and Obamacare, but I would have had to stand in line behind people who just wanted to vent their own miseries, like the lady whose son died of opioid abuse under Obamacare. How was that LaMalfa’s fault, and what could he do to prevent it? He was trying to tell the crowd how he thought they could fix Obamacare, when they started screaming stuff like “Shut up and let us talk!”

      I wish our schools were teaching kids how to engage on important issues, but I’m guessing they spend more time talking about who was on “Dancing with the Stars” last night.

      • leonard costa August 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

        I always voiced my opinion strongly and politely in what I believe in. I am embarrassed in how many of my fellow American citizens voice there opinions. I find that many of the loud mouth oppositions want something for nothing. many of us have worked hard for what we have and beyond. my wife and I live a healthy lifestyle so we can enjoy our children and grandchildren for many years. yet a third of our income goes toward health insurance premiums and deductables . so to those who chose not to work as hard as we have and expect more than what I got you need to wake up and shut up. and the rest of us need to influence our representitives to get to work and no longer waste our tax dollars on there benefits . its time that all elected and government employees pay for there own benefits

      • Juanita Sumner August 10, 2017 at 4:42 am #

        You know, for years the suits have treated me like a loudmouth because I speak out at all. I’ve had to work hard to educate myself, learn how to ask the right questions, they still push me off by the forehead. To have to sit through a meeting where people are holding up cards that say “You’re Wrong!” or “Wrong Answer!” , people shouting down a speaker with cuss words, yelling “Shut UP!” That’s too much.

        LaMalfa should have announced at the beginning that anybody yelling from their seat would be removed. There were security officers, including members of Chico PD, in uniform, who should have escorted the rabble rousers out.

        They stole our opportunity to engage our elected representative, and I’d say, Doug gave it up too easily. Maybe that’s really what he wants, maybe he doesn’t want to talk about Sites Reservoir or the pension deficit. Maybe it all worked out his way.

        But you’re right – the way to get through to these people is to contact them courteously but firmly, as often as possible. Be consistent, be polite, but let them know you got a tiger in a bag.

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