Politicians’ town halls don’t foster dialogue

I must applaud Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. 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 and 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 that all of our elected officials set an example to their constituents and stop blaming “leftists” or “rightists.”

They don’t represent Democrats or Republicans but rather the American people.

Their 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 Eichelberger, as well as all of our elected officials, to listen, to allow the people to be heard, and not reduced to a question on an index card.

Shane McBurney

Hollidaysburg

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