Sharon Williams, San Clemente
I attended Congressman Darrell Issa’s Town Hall at the Junior Seau Community Center in Oceanside. It was quite a sight as I walked up to the Community Center to find so many passionate individuals wearing T-shirts, holding signs and waving American flags to communicate their message in the hopes that it would somehow make an impact. I felt the energy immediately as the hair rose on my arms. I’ve been following Issa closely, and since he hasn’t held an in-person town hall in so many years, I was curious to see what the crowd would present and how Issa would respond.
I walked into the center and took a raffle ticket as I definitely had a question, or 10. A few minutes after 8:30 a.m., Issa took the stage. Right from the start he addressed the crowd in a condescending tone, laying his ground rules and quipping that if we didn’t follow the rules, we would be embarrassing ourselves and the community. Those ground rules were never made very clear, however, and we moved on to the questions.
What stood out to me most was not the questions and his actual answers but his tone, which I thought was smug, and his seemingly patronizing comments that filled each one of his responses. Issa never answered a question directly or even clearly but instead used each question as an opportunity to pontificate and control the narrative about what ever issue it touched on. It was clear to me that Issa had no intention of listening but was simply just waiting for his turn to speak.
I sat in my seat in the second row feeling drenched in what seemed like contempt from Issa and I left feeling frustrated and confused. Issa wanted so desperately to portray us, his opposition, as small and ill-informed so he could be seen as right. As it turns out, he was the one to embarrass himself and his community in my opinion.