At MI 7th District congressman Tim Walberg’s “coffee hour” in Saline (July 6, 2017) I again became frustrated with the one-way lectures that Walberg gives at his public events. Walberg’s “coffee hours” disrespect citizens’ rights to engage in two-way conversation.
Again our questions were required to be written on comment cards, which were then filtered and read by a moderator. I could see dozens of cards, quickly glanced at by the moderator, then placed in a large pile – dozens and dozens of questions not read by the moderator into the microphone. I sat listening to Walberg give his rehearsed lectures, so often not even answering the question but drifting into rehearsed off-topic speeches.
When he once again repeated his rehearsed lines about how the ACA has failed so many, I raised my hand and said the ACA has not failed me. I stood to say that the ACA works for me – I have affordable health care, preventative care, my choice of doctor and services. Walberg made a flippant statement that he was glad the ACA helped one person. Then he returned to his rehearsed lecture.
The next question was mine! Finally, one of my questions was going to be read by the moderator. I have attended 4 “coffee hours” and have yet had one of my questions asked.
But instead I stood and said that was my question!
Would Walberg respectfully allow me to speak my question in my own voice?
I was told to sit down and listen to the moderator read my question – those are the rules at Walberg’s “coffee hours”.
Walberg did not allow me to ask my question in my own voice.
My congressman denied my request to speak to him in open forum in my own voice, for him to look at me as I spoke my question, for him to look at me as he directed his answer to me.
Walberg walls himself off from two-way discourse with his MI 7th district citizens. It is so easy then for Walberg to ignore constituents whose ideas, stories, challenges, and lives are different from his party line. It is clearly so easy for him to speak his side and continue to ignore other sides.
Our system of representation should allow dialogue with all constituents! Give us the respect of two-way dialogue!
My question was about securing Medicaid for end-of-life Alzheimer sufferers who drain their life-savings to pay for long-care treatment and support, and who rely on Medicaid to support their end-of-life care. Alzheimer’s disease runs in my family. Will Medicaid be there for me?
I will continue to attend his public events.
I hope you continue to cover Tim Walberg’s public events!