For lack of a better (read: more easily accessible) definition, I note that Wikipedia defines “town hall meeting” as:
A town hall meeting is an informal public meeting. Everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials about shared subjects of interest, although attendees rarely vote on an issue. In today’s heterogeneous communities with large populations, more often, town hall meetings are held so that people can influence elected officials in their decision making or to give them a chance to feel that their voices are being heard.
See here if you don’t believe me.
That seems like a pretty good definition.1 At the very least, it seems like it provides some baseline requirements for a town hall meeting, including, inter alia, the requirement that “[e]verybody in a community is invited to attend.” Assuming that to be true, maybe someone can help me understand what I saw on Beth Anne Rankin’s Facebook page this morning.
Excuse me, but…what? You can’t tell people who think it is “AWESOME!” that you are going to be in Mena, AR, where you might be found in Mena, AR? Why?
No, seriously, I invite anyone involved with the Rankin campaign — or even anyone who happen to know Beth Anne and could provide some insight — to explain why in the world she can’t tell someone who would apparently like to attend the event the details of the event in question. I honestly can only come up with the following four reasons: 1) it’s a private event at a private home, and you aren’t telling the unwashed masses about it; 2) you are really hope to avoid anything resembling substantive questions about your positions, so you aren’t telling the smarter-than-you public the event details; 3) you are just absolutely clueless, and you hope that people will vote for you because of the “R” by your name, so you are avoiding letting people get to know you enough that they might reconsider; 4) you don’t understand how town hall meetings actually work.
None of these explanations would be even remotely acceptable to me if I were a voter in AR-04, so, like I said, hopefully someone reading this can explain why Ms. Rankin would take such a cowardly/asinine approach to meeting her potential constituents.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.
1 Save, possibly, for the overarching generality of the independent clause about how “attendees rarely vote on an issue.”