After the townhall meeting, I spoke with two residents from El Segundo.
They really believe that climate change is a serious issue, one which government must step in to do something about it. When I shared with them what I had been reading, they did not have much to counter with. I talked about the data that I had read, which demonstrated that Cap and Trade was an abysmal failure, causing fuel prices to rise, while the price of the carbon credits varied wildly, and more pollution resulted, not less. This information I learned about from a committed environmentalist, by the way.
The two I spoke with, a married couple, argued that they had seen the data and came to a different conclusion. I told them my views on climate change: it's real, but so what?
A couple of Democratic club leaders approached me to talk to me. I was really impressed by their willingness to speak with me. The first person who approached me was from Los Angeles. I asked for specifics, but he told me nothing particular. Then another club leader approached me, a Democrat from West Hollywood, a New Jersey native. I "gushed" about Chris Christie. He told me about his specific opposition to Republican policies on social issues. When I asked him if he favor abortion at the third trimester, he was not so sure. There is more debate than one is willing to admit on these issues.
Then came Congressman Waxman up the middle aisle.
"See, that wasn't so bad."
I told him very simply that I was going to keep him accountable. I suggested that he set up Occupy Brentwood outside of the VA and tell the federal government to get moving. I even pressed him on the pension funds in Indiana.
I can see that I am having an impact. Who knows what will happen from here on.
When I returned to the lobby, I spoke with other Democratic leaders. Like the woman from Pacific Palisades, the people I spoke with did not have a sturdy command of economics, or even a more subtly discussion about identity and sexuality. I was willing to discuss anything, I was willing to admit my ignorance on issues, yet more often than not the explanations that I received from one person were contradicted as soon as communicated. Homosexuality as behavior vs. identity. The role of government in regulating the free market or in creating jobs: it appeared to me more often than not that the person I was talking too had not really thought through his values.