Updated with video – see below:
Tonight we went to the League of Women Voters Candidate’s Forum at Grayslake Central High School. The auditorium was packed and people had to have tickets to get in. Tickets were limited to 400. We arrived about 20 minutes before tickets were due to be handed out and when we got there the line went around the side of the building.
A bit later someone came by with tickets and handed them out to people in line. Shortly after that the line started moving and we were able to go inside. It took a while for all the people to get into the auditorium and be seated. Once that happened candidates for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District Melissa Bean (incumbent D) and Bill Scheurer (Green) came onstage. There was a smattering of applause. Then Joe Walsh (R) walked out and the crowd went wild.
Students from Grayslake Central High School’s AP Government class planned and sponsored the debate. They served as timers and questioners, ushers and ticket takers. I commend the students and their teachers for a well run program.
The woman from the League of Women Voters moderated and before the debate got underway she told us the rules. No cameras, no talking, questions will be written down on index cards and a student will take the card to the teachers who will vet the cards for relevance, tone, and appropriateness. Then the question might be read out by one of the questioners on stage. Just before the start, someone in the audience asked if the Pledge of Allegiance would be said (there was a flag on stage). The woman from the LWV said no. It wasn’t something that was done. Some members of the audience then stood and started saying the Pledge. Pretty much the rest of the audience then rose and said the Pledge as well.
Update video: You can actually hear my voice saying the Pledge near the end of the video. I was right next to the camera this was filmed from.
Back to the regular post:
The woman from the LWV was upset. She said that the audience had disrespected her. She said she was “forced” to say the Pledge and that it had “obviously been planned”. As if we all decided in line to say the Pledge of Allegiance anyway if refused. I hadn’t even thought that the Pledge might not be said. This was a political candidate’s forum and the three candidates on stage were hoping to be elected to represent us in the Federal Government. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance at a political event in America should be a no-brainer.
I live-tweeted the event and reproduce the tweets below the fold (later comments in italics):
Linked by Don Surber. Thanks!
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