Hey, so you know how people have been protesting loudly at town hall meetings because they’re upset about their Republican politicians’ Obamacare repeal plans? And how a lot of Republicans have responded by simply skipping those meetings entirely? And how skipping those meetings has, in some cases, just emboldened the activists?
Well, this one congressman from Illinois was asked about his own lack of town hall meetings Thursday and he responded not with a canned statement, but with an honest answer, for which he deserves kudos:
Representative Mike Bost, who made these comments to the editorial board of the Southern Illinoisan, was probably referencing “struggle sessions,” a brutal practice in Maoist China where people judged to be insufficiently devoted to Communism were placed in front of a crowd that would assault them with criticism, abusive language, and sometimes physical violence. And he’s correct that these were not productive meetings!
He also told the Illinoisan, “The in-person [meetings] going on around the United States right now are out of control, which means you don’t actually get to talk to people and listen, and we’re looking for ways to do that.”
But when you are comparing America in 2017 to China’s Cultural Revolution while simultaneously calling for a more temperate discourse—already a tricky combo to pull off—it certainly does not help to drop a racist slur while doing it.
When Bost first won his seat in the House of Representatives in 2014, the main thing he was famous for was getting really pissed off in the Illinois legislature. Now he is famous for one other thing!
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