In a little sit 'n' chat interview with KIRO, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-8) finally responded to a local reporter's request for comment on his failure to do his job and host a public meeting for his constituents—*despite the fact that he had done so back in 2009*—by saying "times have changed." KIRO goes on to summarize the representative's views: "Rep. Reichert fears a peaceful gathering won't stay peaceful."
Open Letter to Congressman Reichert:
Dave. Listen. We get it. Times have changed. You’re old now. You’ve been off the job for a little while. You heard anarchists set a limo on fire at Trump’s inauguration. You’re scared.
But, look. These town halls aren't violent affairs. These peaceful gatherings do stay peaceful. It turns out, lots of your constituents just really want to know why you're voting to gut the Affordable Care Act. They also want to know why you don't want to see Trump's tax returns. They probably have other questions, too. But you won't know what those are until you host a public meeting and hear them out.
Look at all these generally peaceful people:
Sure, they get a little rowdy. But they're not violent. They'll even show you their driver's license! This gesture should comfort you as a former sheriff.
You know which gatherings did get violent? The rallies Trump held during his campaign.
As Lil Jon once put it: Don't incite violence and there won't be any violence.
But really, you shouldn't have to worry. I mean, have you seen your constituents? These people are playing mandolas, Dave.
I bet you didn't even know there was such a thing as a mandola. I didn't. But it makes sense. Violin/viola. Mandolin/mandola. I learned that from your constituents. Think about how much YOU could learn if you'd just do your job and listen to their concerns.
Now, I know that you're having a Facebook live town hall today at 1:00 p.m., moderated by KCTS9's Enrique Cerna. And, look! KCTS already has 1,000 questions from your constituents that they now have to sift through. Sounds inefficient, right? Probably a lot of those questions are repeats. One of the benefits of a town hall is that a lot of people will have similar questions, and you can answer all of them at once!
But more than that, this set-up atomizes your constituency, makes them feel like they're all alone and not part of a cohesive group that's bonded by civic action. Putting a digital wall between you and them prevents them from believing that everybody's working together to strive for the common good. They want to feel heard, understood. In order for them to feel that, they need to see you actively trying to understand them.
And it's not too late to act, Dave! Nearly 500 people on Facebook say they plan to rally outside your Issaquah office today. Maybe you could at least stop by? I'll be there! Come say hi!