ANDREW BLOM: Do your job

To the editor,

It would appear that many Republican legislators are afraid of meeting with their constituents.

Just this week, rather than answer repeated calls to set a date for an open town hall meeting in the district, our 4th District member of Congress Rep. John Moolenaar opted to phone it in. The “telephone town hall” was announced by robo-call with just 24 hours notice. I had to hear about this from a neighbor because no call came to my home in Mount Pleasant. There was no announcement by email (I’m on his list), no mention on his website or Facebook page about how interested constituents could take part. 

When the town hall phone call rang to my house the next evening, I picked up the line only to get a pre-recorded message from Rep. Moolenaar saying the meeting was already done! Several of my neighbors report the same thing.

Earlier this week, Rep. Bill Huizinga (R-MI 2nd District in Freeland) treated his constituents to a similar debacle. The company running his phoned-in town hall stripped out constituents’ cell phones from his call list. The result has been angry protests outside his office demanding he show up in person to hear people’s concerns.

It should be no surprise that Republican lawmakers are scared. When they show up in person, they have to listen to everybody who comes in the door. They have to hear that we are outraged that after seven years of calling for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it is now clear that it was all slogans and that there is no actual Republican replacement plan to ensure affordable health care for everybody.

Now their party has elected a deeply unpopular and divisive president who is daily flouting the democratic and constitutional norms that all sides of the aisle have sworn to uphold. All the while, hardly any Republicans in Congress have had the courage or backbone to speak out against his numerous conflicts of interest, to demand an independent investigation of his administration’s deeply troubling collusion with Russian officials, or to object to his flippancy about matters of national security (removing military advisors from the National Security Council in favor of his fear-peddling Breitbart advisor, Steve Bannon; conducting sensitive meetings in open air at his Florida golf club, and on and on).

No member of Congress, of any party, should be complacent when it comes to irresponsible policies and failures of the constitutional responsibilities of each branch of our government. And yet, according to a FiveThirtyEight’s Congress tracker, Rep. Moolenaar’s voting record is in 100 percent agreement with President Trump.

It’s time to do your job and come visit your district, Rep. Moolenaar. We have a lot to talk about.

Andrew Blom
Mount Pleasant

Leave a Reply