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Rudeness has no place in Grand Haven

Tribune Staff • Mar 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Monday’s town hall meeting in Grand Haven, hosted by Congressman Bill Huizenga, was a poor example of how to conduct oneself at a public event.

Those who were rude, shouting and cat-calling throughout the more than two-hour forum, should be ashamed of themselves.

Huizenga, R-Zeeland, deserves credit for scheduling and hosting these forums — especially knowing that he’s throwing himself into the fire. He calls it his “listening tour,” and that’s what he must do to serve his constituency.

To be sure, there are many who are unhappy with the way their government is working for them. We as Americans have the right to voice our displeasure with our elected officials.

“That’s completely fine,” Huizenga said during the meeting. “I understand beating up on your congressman is a national pastime.”

However, that doesn’t give constituents the right to abuse a public servant.

What occurred at the Lakeshore Middle School auditorium was disgraceful. It was difficult to watch.

At one point, while he was speaking on a subject, Huizenga addressed the bad-mannered bunch, asking if they knew “how rude you are.” Apparently, they didn’t, as the hecklers continued their boorish behavior up to the end.

Certainly, there were many well-spoken audience members who were passionate about their views on health care, immigration, abortion and other topics. We applaud them, no matter what side of the issue they are on.

But there were some who were disrespectful to the congressman and audience members who had the floor.

American democracy is a process, and it’s good to see so many taking an interest in it and getting involved. Having a turnout of 1,000-plus citizens to a town hall forum is refreshing.

But be civil about it, people.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

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