Politicians’ town halls do not foster dialogue

I must applaud state state Sen. John Eichelberger Jr., R-Hollidaysburg, for his holding town halls to listen to his constituents.

A lot of politicians have been reluctant to do so in their districts because of the heat officials are receiving from their constituents.

The same cannot be said for our district’s representation in Congress. I really hope that in future town halls, the senator takes more measures to foster an open dialogue. I understand that some citizens are angry, as they have every right to be. I really don’t think that the senator’s new approach to town halls-using questions submitted on index cards-fosters an “open” an “informal” approach to reaching his constituents. The senator could leave himself open to criticism of “silencing the concerns of citizens”, and it makes himself a target for the opposition.

I also hope all of our elected officials set an example to their constituents and stop blaming “leftists” or “rightists.”

You do not represent Democrats or Republicans; rather, you represent the American people. Your constituents should be treated equally, regardless of their political affiliation.

Scapegoating the left or the right does nothing to foster constructive dialogue. It does everything to further divide us, and exacerbate the anger.

I would encourage Sen. Eichelberger and all of our elected officials, to listen to allow the people to be heard, and not reduced to a question on an index card.