Dear Editor: In the health care reform bill debate, town halls are becoming a way of life it seems, but what good are they doing for the debate. I say this because Representative Jim Marshall just had one this past week. I could not make it to this town hall, but in talking to some people who did go, they said they felt that they were not really being listened to. One of them said that they felt as though there was a feeling of elitism and that they were treated as a threat. They could only ask questions that were approved, and in their opinion there was an overkill of a police presence at the town hall. One that I talked to said that they felt as though they were considered a violent mob and not people coming to hear what Marshall had to say and ask questions. That to me shows the elitism of the president's administration and of Marshall and others in the government who think the people are just not quite getting it and that they can not get it and they need to be force fed this bill. Look at how some others have run their meetings. I was watching a pod cast of Senator Michael Baucus. He seemed to talk down to people who did not agree with him. I do not think that Marshall talked down to people, but he did seem to come off to people I talked to as though he was not listening to them. If they will not listen now, they will have to in the 2010 election. If you do not like what is going on, vote him and others like him out of office.
Editor's note: None of the questions asked at Marshall's town hall Saturday were approved before attendees asked them.