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
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…

One Reply to “Angry Town Hall Mobs, Past and Present: The Joel Dvorman Connection”

  1. In the mid 60s, the Magnolia School District Board of Directors was recalled because they mandated that the district adopt new textbooks. Some of the board members worked for the textbook company and they planned to make a lot of money at it. It also may have been because the rewritten textbooks had a right wing bias. The John Birch Society was very active in our neighborhood and they thought my liberal middle-of the-road Democrat mom was a Communist. She was an organizer of that recall, and I have been trying to remember the particulars about it. I was hoping your article had a clue, and your reference to McGirr is a resource I’ll check. Thanks!

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