Angry Town Hall Mobs, Past and Present: The Joel Dvorman Connection
Got an email from a former resident of Orange County that...well, read it below. She references Orange County's original liberal martyr, Joel Dvorman, and my two articles on the Magnolia School District trustee who was recalled from his seat because he dared host a meeting of the ACLU in his Anaheim backyard. By the way, when is the ACLU of Orange County going to get a clue and rename their chapter after Dvorman in his memory?
The obstructive uproars at several town halls in August of 2009 reminded me of the bad old days in Orange County, during Joel Dvorman's anguished final months on the school board.
At the time, I taught at St. Boniface, and was married to a somewhat left-leaning man who was active in the ACLU.
Your account is quite accurate; the uproar that I witnessed was during a meeting to "discuss" whether ACLU meetings could appropriately be held in public school facilities after hours. The John Birch Society was present in substantial numbers, and made reasoned discourse impossible. Like the rowdy crowds we see on tv nowadays, they yelled hysterically, stomped their feet in unison and shook their fists at the speakers. These were modest- looking middle- class people who had lost all self control or sense of decorum.
Not long after his recall from the board, Joel did indeed die of a heart attack, in his thirties, leaving a widow and two children, if memory serves [Gustavo note: she was correct; his widow still lives in Orange County].
What do these orchestrated groups of thuggish Babbitts hope to accomplish? Certainly not exchange of thoughtful opinions, in the best American tradition.
So when Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas calls the behavior of the screaming stompers "unAmerican," she's quite right. We still don't know what their positions are in regard to health care reform: their screaming and stomping have drowned themselves out.
Because I was married to [the ACLU member] at that time, Father John Quatannens fired me from my teaching job at St. Boniface. I was pregnant, and supporting a husband and small son. It was December 1960.
Water over the dam, amigo.
One final note from me: I don't have my copy of Lisa McGirr's political history of Orange County pre- and post-Goldwater, but she did make reference to St. Boniface's reputation as a conservative bastion at the time. Better than its current status as a place where the pedo-priests bloom...