Republican Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, hosted a town hall meeting for veterans in his district this past Monday. However, veterans – looking for help with VA problems, social security, and policy questions – were completely overshadowed by other attendants. The Alt-Left.
Pastor Dean Reid, who is an Air Force veteran and the chaplain of the Grand Traverse Area Veteran Coalition, came to the podium to open the modest Town Hall with a recitation of the pledge, all hell broke loose. Dozens of protesters who had infiltrated the event interrupted and heckled through the Pledge of Allegiance. It was among the first of numerous interruptions, outbursts, and the vulgar heckling directed at Bergman, who is a retired Marine general.
Recalling the crashed and derailed Town Hall, Bergman explained to a local newspaper, “”There was a group of people last night whose only goal was to disrupt and disturb.” He also expressed disappointment, saying, “I feel bad for the many students from Traverse City Central who were there to receive extra credit for their classes and had to witness the disrespect shown to those who actually came to dialogue.”
The protesters did not stop at the prayer. And several cried “you’re disgusting” as Bergman took the podium, while others kept screeching “grab her by the pussy,” repeating an infamous quote from a leaked Access Hollywood tape, as Bergman attempted to answer questions from constituents and veterans.
“I think we got a little crazy here,” Bergman told the crowd before closing the town hall. “I look forward to the next time we get together.”
Bergman was elected to the Congress in 2016, winning 55% of the votes to succeed the retiring GOP Rep. Dan Benishek in the conservative Upper Peninsula of the state. He was also unapologetic about his own views and sees his conservatism and support for President Trump as a reflective of the majority of his district.
“I ran as an outsider, conservative, and Federalist, and since being elected, the self-proclaimed resistance wants me to govern as a far-left liberal—and that’s just not who I am or why I got elected,” Bergman had added.
Bergman spokesman James Hogge on Monday evening’ said that the protests were the most aggressive that he had ever seen, adding that other participants in the opening ceremony were also intimidated by the hostile crowd, including a Boy Scout troop that had led the official Pledge of Allegiance. He said the disruptions were an exception, rather than a norm at other community events where Bergman has held in his home district.
“The crowd of disrupters were so belligerent that the Boy Scouts who volunteered to open the event with the Pledge of Allegiance were scared to even go on to the stage,” the congressional staffer recalled. “The general (Rep. Bergman) has had half a dozen community engagement events over the past couple of weeks, and all of the other meetings have been respectful and courteous in spite of differing viewpoints.”
Releasing a statement, Bergman’s office noted, “He supports our President’s agenda, and I think it speaks volumes about the current state of American politics when people are totally shocked and appalled when an elected official votes exactly how they said they would during the campaign.”
“I’m thankful for all of the constituents who came out to talk about issues that are important to them,” Bergman said apologetically. “These kids (the scouts) were an example to many of the adults in attendance on what civility and respect is all about—our future is bright.”