BELIEVE it or not, not all meetings have to be boring. For proof, see the town hall gathering that Tom Cotton held Wednesday in Springdale. Talk about a rambunctious democracy! What a country!
After some bad press and perhaps a misunderstanding or three, the junior U.S. senator from Arkansas met with a rowdy crowd semi-led by folks who tried to set up an earlier meeting. Dispatches said Wednesday night’s venue had to be changed until everybody agreed on Springdale High’s theater, which seats 2,000.
And, boy, was the little theater hopping. It warms the inky heart to know that folks are this interested in government. But we do wish when good Arkansans and Americans get together like this, and a senator—or any public servant—puts himself on stage to answer questions, that the crowd allows him to actually answer.
Constant shouting, booing, interrupting, laughing, calling names and chanting are . . . great! If at a demonstration in this still free country. But when a body goes to a town hall to hear a politician explain himself, or try to, it’d be better to show some manners. That way the loyal opposition doesn’t turn off folks who may be watching online or reading about it in the papers the next day.
One person who did come out smelling like a rose was: a senator named Tom Cotton. He knew he was heading to a protest against him and all things Trump. Yet he not only showed up, he invited a member of Ozark Indivisible on the stage. And even though the crowd was unruly at times, and a few folks were downright rude, he tried to answer them politely and he extended his time on stage to take even more abuse. Some of us more grumpy types might have called the crowd out on its lack of manners. Not Tom Cotton. He was polite to the last minute.
Wednesday night was a good example of what’s still great about the world’s greatest democracy. We only wish we could have heard more of it over the shouting.