You read it right, “Town Hell Meeting;” the town hall meeting is the latest casualty in the left’s war on winners; turning plowshares into swords. Politicians and public figures are targets of a recent tactic by their political enemies – “Public Political Pillories.”
Pillories were used to humiliate and torture people who were guilty of malfeasance, breaking taboos, or committing sins. The pillory was usually a hinged wooden device, attached to a post; it held the head and hands of the subject locked in place. The pillory was placed in the most public area of a town or village to get maximum exposure.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Once a person was placed in the pillory, they received no food or water; there were no bathroom breaks; the public was free to scorn, humiliate, & pelt them with organic and inorganic matter, sometimes killing them.
Today, vicious partisans employ a new form of pillory – the televised, town-hall ambush. Traditionally, town hall meetings were community gatherings, bringing together all the local citizens to discuss matters of public, common interest. Yes, people discussed important topics using Robert’s Rules of Order. http://www.robertsrules.org
The modern version has neither good intentions, decorum, nor civility. Innocence plays no part in the deployment of this weapon. Now, it is a form of political ambush. Only foolish office holders attend public town hall meetings that are “public media pillories” in disguise.
The process goes like this: Opposition partisans invite public figures saying, “we want to talk to you in an open forum,” when they really mean, “we want you to sponsor a media-covered, public event, where we will hound, berate, criticize, insult, accuse, interrupt, scream invectives, and attack you personally, without allowing you to express ideas, answer questions, or even be heard.”
Only the brave or the foolhardy accept their cleverly encoded, poison-pen invitation. If you decline, they cast you as non-transparent, and postulate what you could be hiding. If you accept, you find yourself trapped on a stage, with a microphone. You are greeted by a standing- room-only crowd. You are surrounded, not by a cross-section of the community, but by a cohort of angry enemies; some are not even members of the local community.
The hounds are loosed, the cameras capture the mayhem, and the air is filled with posters, chants, rants, and pithy aphorisms. At some point, you shrug and walk off the stage, having only introduced yourself and thanked the people for “coming out.”
You may think it is over because you survived with all your body parts. Alas, the torture has just begun; the editing and augmenting begin.
Before and after the meeting, the “reporters” identify photogenic, outraged attendees, recently-ousted office holders, and bussed-in opposition pundits. They script interviews with everyone and anyone who hates you, and “the horse you rode in on.” They use snippets and sound bites to punctuate the later broadcasts with righteous indignation, and proud assertions of having done a public good.
The masterful image-smiths design a “storyboard,” and use video tape, & sound bites to fulfill it. When they are done, the town-hall meeting is a victory of good over evil at Armageddon. They tailor the context, emphasize “talking points” to meet “breaking news” standards; they include hints that support the opposition, bolster conspiracy theories, and not so subtlety, deride your credibility as a public figure.
If you get invited to lead
a “town hall” meeting, think “abattoir,” a spider’s parlor. This use of the media has eliminated its community value, and weaponized its destructive power.