I attended U.S. Rep. Allen West’s April Town Hall meeting in Boca Raton last night. The previous evening’s meeting was punctuated with disruptions by protesters who had to be removed by local police. Yesterday’s event was a repeat. Although West took time to explain what was going on in D.C., his takes on issues, the national and international scene and what the future has in store for future generations, the catcalls and interruptions did not stop. Mayor Whelchel warned the crowd that disruptors would be removed by the police. They were.
West’s patience did not wear thin. Apparently, he had faced tougher opponents in Iraq and Afghanistan than the organized protesters in the audience. But give these locals credit. They were rude, discourteous, obnoxious and not too bright.
After the meeting I sidled up to a woman dressed to the hilt in pink and to her credit admitted she was a member of the extremist group, Code Pink, which is led by Medea Benjamin, a close friend and confidante of Barack Obama. I asked her if she agreed with the group’s vicious anti-Israel stance. She claimed that Israel was a terrorist nation and deserved its harsh treatment by Obama. “What is it about West’s policies you don’t agree with?” I asked. Her response -“Everything!” “Will you come back to demonstrate again?” With a smile and pumped, upraised fist – “You bet!”
These people don’t seem to understand that free speech is to be granted even to those with whom you don’t agree. West answered dozens of questions posted by the audience with patience, humor and insight. No one was denied the opportunity to submit one. West never ridiculed, nor did he try to intimidate. I watched the faces of a few in the crowd who were obviously not fans of his but were listening intently to what he was saying. A few listened(!) and these few had to be swayed by his knowledge, patience and sense of humor. They had to have gone home and reported to their families and friends, “You know, this guy is not bad. He comes to the point quickly, faces reality and has a real clue on every subject that concerns me. I’m going to listen to him more carefully now.”
If you want to be in for a treat and get a true picture of the incivility, rudeness and hatred of fire-breathing liberals, come to next month’s West Town Hall meeting. You’ll love the guy even more!
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