OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - “Why We Don’t Have More Town Meetings”

(02/24/2003)

By Tony Russell

On Monday, Congressman James Moran held a town meeting in his district on the topic “Terrorism and the Possible Conflict in Iraq.” He invited two Pentagon representatives to join him in receiving public comments and answering questions. The meeting drew such a large crowd that they filled the auditorium and spilled over into the school cafeteria, where hundreds who couldn’t fit into the auditorium watched the proceedings on closed-circuit TV.

The town meeting took place in Alexandria, Virginia, which is an immediate neighbor of the Pentagon, and the home of more than 7,000 people employed by the Department of Defense. Nonetheless, speaker after speaker condemned the administration’s plans to invade Iraq, and not a single speaker defended the government’s policy.

At the end, obviously nettled, Congressman Moran (a Democrat) said that it was exactly because town meetings draw a large number of hostile questions like these that more such meetings aren’t held.


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