Many people are calling for more civility in political discourse.
U.S. Rep. Rod Blum is calling for it in his town hall meetings and to try to enforce it by requiring people to sign up in advance along with their contact information and to even show an ID at the door to prove that they are 1st District residents.
This troubling penchant for requiring ID’s that has infected the Republican Party already has been imposed on us at the polls to solve a non-existent problem of voter fraud. Now requiring one to even meet with this elected representative is equally troubling. Does he require an ID from people from his district seeking to visit his office in Washington D.C.? Does he ask for proof of residence from lobbyists or campaign donors seeking to inform him on issues?
I fail to see how this will prevent people from becoming angry at town hall meetings. Anger is in style right now, at least the “populist” anger that swept Republicans into office last fall, so blatantly encouraged by the party’s leader even now. I have yet to hear anyone in the GOP call for them to calm down, although it would no doubt help the national discourse to become more civil. But then, anger is so much easier to take when it’s directed at someone else, isn’t it? Let’s all try for more light and less heat in the coming months and years.