A Civil Civic Discourse - Good Design or Just a Fluke?
Relation is the essence of everything. Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)
Last week US Representative Joe Sestak held a townhall forum on health care at a faith-based organization, Broad Street Ministry (BSM), in Philadelphia. The front-page article in The Philadelphia Inquirer the following morning described the event as "overwhelmingly civil".
The evening went so smoothly in fact that some thought the forum had been in the planning stages for several weeks, or that opponents to the Democratic plan were purposefully kept out of the gathering. Neither assertion is true. I work at BSM several days a week. I was there from the beginning of the planning process until the end of the actual forum (Sestak stayed on afterwards to meet with a small remnant of the more than 1000 people who showed up that evening). And while there were any number of reasons that the townhall was a civil one, not the least of these was the fact that a very welcoming and grateful tone was set from the outset, and was carried through to the end.