Heather Robinson criticizes Democratic members of Congress for “volatile invective” toward the Tea Party (“Incivility toward Tea Party embarrasses us all,” Sept. 2). I would like to recount the events of a recent evening in which the president of the N.J. Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel, and Steve Lonegan, state director of Americans for Prosperity, debated the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Gov. Chris Christie had withdrawn New Jersey as a member of this 10-state compact which sought to reduce pollution levels, and the debate was to educate the public regarding the pros and cons of the initiative.
Lonegan supported Christie. When he spoke, he was met by approving nods.
When Tittel spoke in support of RGGI, he was met by derisive comments and jeering.
When my husband, our friends and I attempted to remind the people around us, who were being very rude, to listen to both sides , we too were met with derisive retorts.
During a question-and-answer session, about two-thirds of the audience identified themselves as Tea Party members from throughout New Jersey.
All of us in our small group were shaken by the hostile atmosphere and the inexcusable behavior of the Tea Party group. Civility was certainly not present this evening.