The town hall events, eerily reminiscent of the meetings faced by Democratic representatives in 2009 which spawned the Tea Party movement, have provoked criticism of the protesters, even from the White House, with claims that the events are being overrun by paid protesters. In response, many Republican congressmen have canceled town hall meetings, or just refused to attend so as not to have to face the protests.
Norwalk’s representative in the U.S. Congress, Republican Jim Jordan of the 5th Ohio Congressional District, at first disappointed by not scheduling any town hall meetings. Protesters, however, brought the town hall meeting to Jordan, getting hold of his schedule and showing up in large numbers at a Presidents Day appearance Monday at the Harding Home Presidential Site in Marion.
Unlike many of his Republican colleagues who have literally fled such confrontations in the past week, Jordan scores points with us for engaging the crowd, walking among the protesters and taking questions. What’s more, while the crowd also included many supporters of the congressman, he took only questions from critics, including one from his 2016 Democratic opponent.
Public service is not easy. Whether warranted or not, we expect our elected representatives to have the honesty, integrity and courage to engage with their constituents, even those who are not happy with them. Jordan displayed those qualities in spades and set an example we hope his colleagues will follow.